Tooth Extractions

When Do I Need A Tooth Extraction?

Sometimes a tooth gets fractured, infected, or decayed so deep that it becomes unfixable. In these situations, we have plenty of experience in removing teeth quickly and comfortably in order to remove the problem. We will also discuss what your options are to replace the tooth so that you don’t end up with an unsightly gap in your smile, or a decreased ability to chew.

The most common reason for tooth extraction is impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars, and they usually come out around the age of 17-25. Wisdom teeth become impacted when there isn’t enough space in your mouth for them to erupt correctly. This is why River District Dentistry recommends exams around the age of 16 to evaluate the wisdom teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful when trying to erupt, and expensive and problematic to fix later on if left untreated. For example, if your wisdom teeth aren’t extracted at the earliest opportunity, they may shift your other teeth. This could cause damage to the surrounding teeth, oral infections, or affect previously received orthodontic treatment.

Tooth extractions may also be required if one of your teeth has been fractured, infected, or decayed so deeply that the tooth must be pulled. Dr. Scott Kollen can remove the tooth quickly and comfortably so you can get back to a healthy smile. Our team can also discuss replacement options, such as a dental implant, denture, or dental bridge.

What Happens After I Have A Tooth Extraction?

After your extraction, you’ll be sent home to recover. Dr. Scott Kollen will send you home with Oral Surgery Post-Op instructions that will help you have a smooth recovery.

Controlling the bleeding and allowing a blood clot to form is the first step to recovery. Be sure to change your gauze regularly (every 30 minutes to 2 hours as needed) and avoid spitting or any habits that cause suction in your mouth, such as using straws or smoking. These habits will dislodge a blood clot and cause more bleeding.

Blood streaked saliva and minor oozing for the first 3 days is normal. But if bleeding and oozing cannot be controlled with gauze and firm pressure, or the bleeding and oozing is persistent, please call our office.

Swelling of the site typically increases in the first 3 days. Ice packs wrapped in a towel (30 minutes on, 30 minutes off) will help reduce swelling during this time. But you should be back to normal within 2 weeks. If the site is extra tender or firm, please call our office.

Don’t rinse or brush after your extraction. Starting the next day, you can rinse with warm water and a half a teaspoon of salt. Dissolve the salt and rinse after each meal and at bedtime for 1-2 weeks. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze to clean near the extraction site, and brush and floss normally everywhere else.

What Can I Eat After Having A Tooth Pulled?

A nutritious liquid and soft food diet will be necessary for the first few days after your oral surgery. This will help you avoid dislodging your blood clot and makes it easier to gently clean the extraction site.

Give these foods a try:

  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Smoothies and shakes
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Broths or blended soups
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pudding and Jell-o
  • Mashed up bananas

You should avoid very hot foods, especially after eating something cold or frozen, as you could accidentally burn your oral tissues.

After the first few days, gradually reintroduce harder foods back into your diet, and take care to avoid chewing directly on the extraction site until you’re fully healed. You should be back to normal in about 2 weeks after surgery.

A dental extraction