Dr. Nuhfer believes that every effort should be made to avoid tooth extractions. However, when decay or an abscessed tooth is so severe that no available treatment can cure the infection, Dr. Nuhfer will recommend extraction. Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include pain, swelling, redness in gums, bad taste in mouth and fever.
Other conditions that may necessitate extraction include cracked teeth from trauma, overcrowding or preparation for orthodontic treatment. In all cases, tooth extraction requires careful medical evaluation of the patient. Patients with diabetes, hypertension and many organ diseases must have their disease controlled before tooth extraction.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction, Dr. Nuhfer will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. During the extraction process, you will feel slight pressure without without pain. If you feel pain at any time, please let us know immediately!
After the tooth is removed, a cotton gauze pad is placed over the wound to help stop the bleeding. The removed tooth may be replaced with an implant, bridge or denture.
What To Expect After Surgery
In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene during the healing process. The following will help speed recovery:
• Take over-the-counter pain relief or painkillers as prescribed by Dr. Nuhfer.
• If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, follow the instructions and finish the course.
• Avoid aspirin as this thins blood and may increase bleeding.
• Relax after surgery. Do not exercise for at least 24 hours.
• Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
• Apply ice packs for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off to reduce swelling.
• Avoid smoking, sucking, spitting and blowing your nose.
• Eat soft foods. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
• Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
• Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue.
• Don’t be tempted to rinse the area for 24 hours after tooth removal. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to help reduce swelling.
• Continue to carefully brush your teeth and tongue.
Pain that lasts for up to a week but is gradually getting better is normal. Pain that starts to get worse after two days is considered abnormal and you should contact our office.
Dr. Nuhfer recommends the consideration of all treatment options to avoid tooth extraction. As dental technologies advance, new treatments are available to keep as many natural teeth as possible. Many dental problems which lead to extractions can be prevented with regular exams which often detect oral health issues long before the onset of symptoms.
Dr. Nuhfer advises patients that the removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to chewing ability, jaw joints and shifting teeth which can have a major impact on oral health. Patients should always consider an implant, bridge or denture after an extraction.
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