Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure. Some patients feel uneasy about tooth extraction, but it is a quick and painless procedure that helps to protect oral health. Typically, a single-tooth extraction takes only 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the tooth's position and any complications like impaction.
Reasons For Tooth Extraction
While dentists do everything possible to save natural teeth, sometimes a tooth sustains too much damage to repair.
Teeth that need extraction may be decayed, fractured, or partially knocked out. They may have infections that root canal therapy cannot treat. Advanced gum disease can also endanger teeth to the point where they need extraction.
Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth often need extraction. Dentists frequently extract overly crowded teeth or those that interfere with orthodontic treatment.
The Tooth Extraction Process
Before extraction, the dentist examines your teeth and takes digital X-rays. You will receive local anesthesia to prevent pain during your extraction.
The dentist uses an instrument called an elevator to release the tooth. The elevator works like a lever to apply gentle force. You may feel movement and pressure. After separating the tooth, the dentist uses forceps to remove it.
Replacing Teeth After Extraction
We recommend that all tooth extraction patients strongly consider replacing their lost tooth. If patients fail to replace a tooth with a bridge, denture, or implant, their oral health could suffer.
A missing tooth lets its neighbors shift out of position. Teeth may become gapped or crowded. Patients have more difficulty cleaning between crowded teeth, making gum disease and tooth decay more likely. Shifting teeth may also cause problems with the dental bite or excessive wear.
Dental implants are Dr. Massiah's top choice for replacing teeth because they help the jawbone stay healthy. Without chewing stimulation from the natural tooth and root system, the jawbone can break down and cause facial sagging.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Extractions
What can I eat after a tooth extraction?
Soft foods are best for the first 24 to 48 hours. Yogurt, ice cream, and smoothies can help you recover. Be sure to stay hydrated to help the healing process. As your gums heal, you can gradually return to a normal diet. Avoid crunchy, spicy, or hard foods at first.
How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
The healing time depends on the location and complexity of your extraction. Typically, it takes about two to three days to return to normal activities. The closer you follow the dentist's aftercare instructions regarding keeping your extraction site clean and preserving the beneficial blood clot, the smoother your recovery will be.
Call Smiles on the Upper Westside
Tooth extraction can be intimidating, but we can make it as easy as possible. If you have a tooth that needs extraction, we can take care of your problem and restore your smile. Please call our New York City office at 212-222-5225 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Massiah.