Tooth Extraction

At Ocean Breeze Dental, we always make every attempt to treat your teeth and remedy any dental malady. Unfortunately, in some cases damage to teeth is in so advanced a stage that it may be necessary to extract or pull the tooth in order to maintain dental health. When a tooth is broken, cracked or extensively decayed it may be necessary to remove it. Likewise, a tooth that is associated with advanced stages of periodontal disease should be removed, as well as teeth that are poorly positioned or non-functional. It is now possible to restore missing or extracted teeth with dental implants.
  • Before extracting or pulling a tooth, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed.
  • An anti-anxiety pill or IV sedation may also be used for more complicated procedures if required. The medication will make you drowsy and relaxed, sometimes even allowing you to sleep through the procedure.
  • When using sedation, we recommend that you don't eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery.
  • Most extractions are very simple and well tolerated; other times extraction can be more complicated, such as the removal of a wisdom tooth.
  • Any questions you have about your particular procedure will be answered by one of our three doctors at your exam or consultation.
  • For more complicated surgeries, such as removing a wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
  • After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.
When we are extracting teeth, if there is a possibility you might wish to restore the missing tooth with a dental implant, it is often advisable to proceed with a type of bone grafting known as socket preservation at the time of the extraction. This relatively simple procedure helps to maintain your current level of bone and can prevent the need for expensive, time consuming, and invasive bone grafting procedures that might otherwise be required prior to implant placement.

What to expect after surgery?

In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Please take the painkillers, steroids, and any other medications as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. The following tips will help speed your recovery.
  • Bite gently but firmly on the gauze sponges, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
  • While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue.
  • Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
  • Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat-such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out-for the following 2 or 3 days.
  • Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
  • Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  • After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. In addition, smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area. Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
  • Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
  • Your dentist will remove the stitches after a few days, if needed.

Wisdom Tooth (3rd molar) Extraction

Why It Is Done

A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future. When wisdom teeth come in, a number of problems can occur: Your jaw may not be large enough to accommodate them, and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. Your wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs can become trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful. These are signs of infection. More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth and bone, or the development of a cyst. One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to either side.

How Well It Works

Wisdom tooth removal usually is effective in preventing:
  • Crowding of the back teeth
  • A wisdom tooth becoming stuck in the jaw (impacted) and never breaking through the gums.
  • Red, swollen, and painful gums caused by a flap of skin around a wisdom tooth that has only partially come in.
  • Gum disease and tooth decay in the wisdom tooth, which may be harder to clean than other teeth, or in the teeth and jaw in the area of the wisdom tooth.