Tooth extraction is often the last-line treatment solution for teeth affected by severe decay, advanced disease, chronic pain, or serious trauma. Otherwise, healthy wisdom teeth may also require extraction if they’re painfully impacted or crowding other teeth. Lester Martinez, DDS, and his bilingual team in San Jose, California, offer a full scope of general dental services, including tooth extraction. If you suspect you need an extraction, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Teeth may become candidates for removal if they’re so decayed, inflamed, or infected that they can’t be saved by a typical filling or root canal. Abscessed teeth and teeth that have been badly damaged by trauma are also candidates for extraction.
Wisdom teeth are commonly extracted if they’re impacted or stuck beneath your gums. They may also be removed if they’re partially erupted or have insufficient room to come in.
In some cases, a perfectly healthy tooth may require extraction to clear the way for complete dentures. However, removing a healthy tooth typically only occurs when you’re already missing most of your teeth and require complete dentures or implants.
At Lester Martinez DDS, tooth extraction is an in-office procedure performed with local anesthetics. After numbing the treatment area, Dr. Martinez makes an incision in your gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone.
Next, he removes any bone that blocks access to the root. If your tooth is easier to remove in pieces, they may divide it into sections.
Once your tooth is removed, Dr. Martinez cleans the area, stitches your gum tissue closed, and places gauze over the site to control bleeding and promote blood clot formation.
After the extraction, your body slowly forms a blood clot to fill in the bone where your tooth once was. This part of the healing process can take 24 hours or a bit longer, partly depending on how quickly your body heals. It’s especially critical to maintain a clean extraction site during this time, keeping the socket clear of any food particles.
To support the initial healing process, avoid rinsing your mouth in the first 24 hours after your surgery. When you’re able to rinse again, do so in a very gentle manner that doesn’t damage the tender blood clot that may still be forming.
It’s also important to avoid consuming alcohol for at least one week following a tooth extraction, as this may encourage bleeding and slow the healing process.
You can continue to brush and floss your teeth normally, as long as you take care to avoid the teeth on either side of your extraction and the tender site itself.
A healing tooth socket that becomes infected can cause a condition called dry socket. Dry socket occurs when no blood clot forms in the empty socket, leaving the socket’s bony walls exposed and open to infection.
If you feel intense or unusual pain at any extraction site soon after having an extraction, you may have an infection. Make an appointment to see Dr. Martinez immediately because dry socket requires prompt treatment to prevent further complications.
To learn more about tooth extractions, book an appointment with Lester Martinez DDS online, or call the office today. Spanish-speaking team members are also available.