Tooth extractions. Don’t let them scare you. The right dental team can provide a smooth and comfortable experience every step of the way.
Often associated with wisdom tooth extraction, that’s not the only reason for dental extractions. And as much as we hope our teeth are permanent, that isn’t always the case. Crowding of your teeth, infection, orthodontic treatment, or major tooth decay can be a reason. People undergoing chemotherapy or an organ transplant may need teeth removed to help keep their mouth healthy. Periodontal disease (gum disease) can also be a reason because of its effect on your gum tissue.
Most dental offices can take care of simple extractions and depending on the situation, some surgical ones.
For a simple extraction, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around your tooth. This means you’ll feel no pain, only a slight pressure during the procedure. An instrument called an “elevator” is then used to loosen your tooth. Forceps are used to remove it with a gentle rocking motion. For patients with a high level of anxiety around dental visits, our Winnipeg dental office offers sedation dentistry. A great way to experience a calm, stress-free visit.
For a surgical extraction, you’ll likely receive two types of anesthetics – local and intravenous. The IV will make sure you feel very relaxed and calm. In some cases, a general anesthetic may be used. This would mean you’re asleep through the procedure. Breaks below the surface or issues with impacted teeth tend to require this type of extraction. For overly complex cases, assessment is done to determine whether an oral surgeon is needed.
Once the anesthetic sets in, your dentist or oral surgeon will make a small incision into your gums. Depending on the situation, they may need to remove some bone from around your tooth. Or, in some cases, cut your tooth into pieces to extract it.
Regardless of whether it is a simple extraction or a surgical extraction, once the tooth is pulled, a blood clot should form in the socket. Your dentist will use a gauze pad to pack the socket and have you bite down to help stop the bleeding. Stitches are not typically necessary, but, in some cases, they help close the gum edges over the site. They are usually self-dissolving, meaning they’ll disappear on their own over time.
Healing after tooth extraction typically takes only a few days. You can help ensure a smooth recovery by following a few simple post-surgery best practices:
- An ice pack can be your best friend. Apply it directly to your cheek for 10 minutes at a time to reduce swelling.
- Take your pain medication! Either prescribed medications or over-the-counter painkillers.
- Take it easy. 24 hours of relaxation will serve you well. And use pillows to prop your head up!
- Things to avoid in the first 24 hours: straws, smoking, rinsing (only spit gently).
- Keep to soft foods – pudding, yogurt, applesauce, etc. – at least for one day following your dental extraction. Then you can slowly reintroduce other foods.
- Practice good oral care with proper brushing and flossing. But stay clear of the extraction site.
The cost of extraction will vary based on whether your dentist can handle it in-office, or if you need a referral out to an oral surgeon. It also varies based on individual cases, but the typical cost in Winnipeg can be anywhere from $140-$275 per tooth. With impacted teeth, you could be looking at $260-$620 per tooth, plus the cost of sedation, which is around $800. Insurance may cover part of your procedure, but that will depend on your individual plan. At Advanced Dental Arts, we do offer payment plans to help you finance your dental work if needed.
Risks of Tooth Extractions
As with any procedure, there are some risks with a tooth extraction. But, if your dentist is recommending it, the benefits likely outweigh any risks associated with it.
The biggest risk is a dry socket. A dry socket happens when a blood clot doesn’t form, or dislodges, leaving the bone inside the socket exposed. Your dentist can fix this with a sedative dressing applied over it for a few days to allow time for a new clot to form. Some other common risks include:
- Prolonged bleeding (longer than 12 hours)
- Risk of infection – usually signaled by chills and a fever
- Vomiting or nausea
- Shortness of breath and/or chest pain
- Redness and/or swelling at the extraction site
If you experience any of the above or severe pain it is very important to connect with your dental team.
Our team at Advanced Dental Arts in Winnipeg is happy to offer free consultations. Whether you’re looking for a new dentist near you or a second opinion, come in and chat with us at no cost. You can request a free consultation, or give us a call at 204-500-2798.
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