There may be occasions when a tooth is so damaged or decayed that it cannot be saved or is impacted (unable to break through the gums) and becomes painful. In these situations, an extraction may be necessary to alleviate your pain and deter the spread of infection, should any be present. Tooth extractions are also a prerequisite procedure for some orthodontic, implant, denture, and full mouth rehabilitation cases. If you need a tooth extracted, call Desert Palm Dentistry at either our Glendale office (623) 915-9700 or our Phoenix office (602) 978-1932 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Shahin Dabestani today.
Reasons for Extractions
An extraction may become necessary due to a number of factors. Here are some of the most common reasons Dr. Dabestani may decide to extract your tooth:
- A tooth may be broken or decayed to the point that damage extends to the pulp. If the damage is too severe to be rectified with antibiotics or root canal therapy, the tooth may need to be removed.
- A patient may have crowding issues, meaning there are extra teeth blocking others from coming in, the mouth is too small for all of the teeth to be properly aligned, or some baby teeth have not fallen out in time for permanent teeth to break through.
- One or more teeth may need to be extracted as part of an orthodontic treatment plan.
- Patients who take cancer drugs or undergo radiation therapy may have a weakened immune system, which leads to infected teeth that may require extraction.
- Patients may experience loose teeth due to gum disease.
- Wisdom teeth often get impacted, meaning they are not able to break through the gums, and extraction is necessary.
- To place a full set of dentures or implant-retained dentures, remaining teeth must be removed.
Preparing for an Extraction
In preparation for a dental extraction, you will first need to consult with Dr. Dabestani and provide him with your full medical and dental history, as well as a list of all medications you currently take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter, vitamins, and supplements. The doctor will take x-rays of your teeth, to plan the best way to remove the affected tooth. In the case of wisdom teeth, panoramic x-rays may be needed. Panoramic x-rays take a picture of all your teeth at once, showing Dr. Dabestani the relationships of the wisdom teeth to other teeth, your upper teeth to your sinuses, and your lower teeth and the inferior alveolar nerve, which provides the feeling in your lower jaw, teeth, and chin.
The doctor may prescribe antibiotics for patients with severe infections, weakened immune systems, or other specific medical conditions. Talk with the doctor about anesthesia, especially if you experience anxiety or do not respond well to local anesthetic. If Dr. Dabestani recommends anesthesia, you will need to fast for 6-8 hours before the procedure, and plan for a responsible person to take you home and stay with you after the procedure, until the anesthesia wears off.
Finally, do not smoke the day of your procedure, as this can lead to a painful condition called dry socket.
The Extraction Procedure
There are two types of dental extractions, simple and surgical. A simple extraction is for the removal of teeth that can be seen in the mouth. The doctor loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator, then uses forceps to remove the tooth. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area of the extraction, but usually no other anesthesia will be used, unless you suffer from anxiety. During a simple extraction, most patients experience pressure, but rarely any pain.
A more complex procedure, the surgical extraction becomes necessary if the tooth is broken off at the gum line or has not come erupted. For this procedure, Dr. Dabestani makes a small incision in the gum, exposing the tooth. An impacted tooth may require the removal of some of the bone around it. For a surgical extraction, you should expect to receive a local anesthetic, and the doctor may recommend a sedative, especially if he expects a long procedure.
After the extraction is complete, Dr. Dabestani will provide you with detailed instructions for follow up care. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully, to avoid infections and pain. A simple extraction typically leaves patients with some minor discomfort, and the doctor will recommend a dosage of NSAID drugs (Ibuprofen, Advil, etc.) for a few days. A surgical extraction may be accompanied with a prescription for a few days’ worth of pain pills to ensure comfort. Eat cool, soft foods for the first days following your procedure, and use ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Rinse gently with warm salt water to keep the extraction area clean.
Call Now For a Consultation
If you have a tooth you think may need extracting, call our dental office in Glendale (623) 915-9700 or Phoenix (602) 978-1932 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shahin Dabestani today.