Dr. Wallace makes every effort to preserve your natural teeth. However, extractions are necessary when decay has made the tooth unsalvageable or when you have an advanced periodontal disease. When a tooth is malformed, damaged, impacted or ingrown, different procedures are used, but all extractions are considered surgery. Depending on which tooth is removed, we can offer you a replacement in the form of a dental implant or oral prosthetic.
Most of the time, extractions are simple and take less than fifteen minutes of chair time. However, in some cases Dr. Wallace may need to remove a small amount of the bone surrounding the tooth in able to remove it efficiently. Rest assured, your nerves will be numbed profoundly with the latest in anesthetic science. You will feel a small amount of pressure, but Dr. Wallace will make it his priority to keep you from pain during the procedure.
It is important to remember that once a tooth is removed, your bone will resorb into itself and become smaller over time. Dr. Wallace has trained in ridge and bone preservation following extractions in order to maintain the site(s) for dental implant placement following healing. He may recommend a bone augmentation procedure during your extraction(s) if it would be of benefit to your situation. This procedure takes an average of 3-5 additional minutes following the extraction and prepares your site for future replacement of your lost tooth or teeth.
Do I need my tooth extracted?
Teeth are indicated for extraction when they are deemed non-restorable through radiographic and clinical examination. Many teeth are able to be saved through the use of root canal therapy followed by a filling and a crown to hold everything together. In some cases where teeth are broken off near or below the gum line, the only remaining treatment is extraction and replacement with a bridge or dental implant.
What should I expect during an extraction procedure?
Dr. Wallace will first deliver profound anesthesia to the tooth. This will make the tooth nerve and surrounding gum tissue very numb for the procedure. You will not feel sharp pain but are likely to feel some amount of pressure as the tooth is removed from the socket. After extraction, the site will be thoroughly rinsed and a piece of gauze will be placed for you to bite on for up to an hour as a blood clot forms in the area of the tooth socket.
How long is the healing process?
Soft tissue healing over the open extraction socket can take up to three weeks but in some cases takes as little as seven days! During this healing time it is important to stay away from smoking, straws, and carbonated beverages so as not to disturb the clot formation. Oral soft tissue heals incredibly fast but the underlying bone will take a little longer to form. This process can take up to six months. That is why in cases where an implant will be placed or a denture fabricated, a healing period of 4-6 months is indicated to allow for a stable base of healing before fabrication. This allows for an intimate fit with your oral soft tissue and underlying bone.