Tooth Extractions in Harrisburg, NC
Having a tooth pulled may be necessary to maintain your oral health. Although we aim to save and restore your natural tooth whenever possible, certain situations require the removal of the tooth. If your tooth cannot be mended with a filling or dental crown, it may need to be extracted. The following are common scenarios that prompt tooth extractions:
- Trauma or injury can lead to tooth damage that can’t be rectified.
- Severe decay from plaque and tartar buildup can compromise the health of your tooth by wearing away the enamel. In serious cases, the decay reaches the pulp and leads to infection. If root canal therapy cannot adequately address the infection, the tooth must be pulled.
- Periodontal disease is a gum infection that can cause significant deterioration leading to the loss of the tooth.
- Impaction, often experienced with wisdom teeth, occurs when a tooth fails to erupt from the gums. This causes the tooth to push against a neighboring one, leading to pain and swelling. An impacted tooth may be removed to lower the risk of infection and prevent overcrowding.
- Overcrowding may require a tooth extraction. If you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, an extraction may be necessary to allow the teeth to realign properly.
Simple vs. Surgical Tooth Extractions
Tooth extractions fall into two categories: simple extractions and surgical extractions.
Simple tooth extraction is performed when the tooth that needs removal is visible. In this case, Dr. Ney will begin by applying a local anesthetic to numb the area. He will gently loosen the tooth until the ligament breaks and remove it from the socket with forceps. Once the tooth is removed, Dr. Ney will clean and disinfect the socket. Depending on the tooth’s size, he may use stitches to help with healing.
When a tooth is not easily accessible, a more complex procedure is performed. An impacted wisdom tooth or tooth that has broken below the gum line may prompt surgical removal. Though more complicated than simple extractions, there’s no need to worry: surgical tooth extractions are actually the most common surgical procedure in the United States.
When a tooth is more difficult to extract, you may require additional anesthesia to minimize discomfort. To begin the procedure, Dr. Ney will make an incision into the gum to gain access to the tooth. Sometimes, Dr. Ney will need to raise your gum tissue or trim the bone to make the tooth accessible. The tooth may need to be sectioned, or removed in pieces, which simplifies the procedure and requires less force to remove the tooth. After the tooth is extracted, the extraction area is cleaned and disinfected, and stitches are placed to close and stabilize the gum tissue.
After simple and surgical extractions, you’ll be instructed to bite down on a gauze pad to encourage blood clotting in the socket.
How Long Do Tooth Extractions Take?
The length of extraction depends on several factors: the number of extractions, the type or location of the tooth, and whether the extraction is simple or surgical. Removal of a tooth could take 10 minutes, or it could take an hour. Different situations necessitate different techniques for preparation, extraction, and closing the wound, all of which contribute to the procedure timeframe. Dr. Ney will go over what to expect before your extraction.
If your tooth will be replaced after removal, another procedure step is needed. In some instances, tooth replacements (like mini implant-supported crowns) can be placed immediately; at other times, a second appointment is scheduled to allow for a short recovery period before the implants are placed.
Caring for Your Mouth after Tooth Extractions
Caring for the extraction site is crucial. Dr. Ney will give you detailed aftercare instructions for your particular circumstances. Standard aftercare guidelines include:
- Rest: avoid excessive talking or physical activity until your mouth has healed. Sleep will also aid your recovery; to drain fluids from the extraction site and reduce swelling, you should sleep with your head elevated for the first few nights.
- Cleaning the area: Wait at least 12 hours before brushing or flossing teeth around the extraction site. As you recover, you should use an antimicrobial mouthwash to keep your mouth clean. However, you shouldn’t brush the wound directly until Dr. Ney says it’s safe, as you may dislodge the blood clot and cause a dry socket.
- Pain management: If Dr. Ney prescribes pain medication or antibiotics, take these exactly as directed. If pain or discomfort continues, use an ice pack or over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen.
- Eating and drinking: Begin with a soft diet and consume lukewarm foods to minimize discomfort. Avoid drinking through a straw, as doing so can remove the blood clot. As you heal, you can gradually reintroduce your normal foods.
Contact Dr. Ney if you have severe pain or bleeding four hours after your procedure or if you experience fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting.
Healing after teeth extractions can take 2-3 days. Until then, be sure to relax and follow Dr. Ney’s aftercare guidelines.
Replace Missing Teeth with Mini Dental Implants
Teeth extractions are necessary procedures, but they leave you with a gap in your smile. Replacing a missing tooth not only restores your smile, it also prevents other complications. When a tooth is lost or extracted, neighboring teeth will naturally shift toward the gap, leading to a misaligned bite and difficulties chewing. Gaps are also vulnerable to infection.
Dr. Ney may recommend mini dental implants after your extraction. A mini implant is a titanium post that is placed in the gap left by a missing tooth. One end of the post screws into and integrates with your jawbone. The other end sits above your gums and connects to a dental restoration.
Mini implants are uniquely versatile: they can replace an individual tooth with a crown, multiple teeth with a bridge, or an entire arch of teeth with a denture.
The Mini Implant Advantage
Mini dental implants revolutionized the field of dentistry, offering many advantages over traditional implants:
- Small design: Mini dental implants are significantly smaller than traditional alternatives, with a diameter of less than 3 mm.
- Minimally invasive procedure: Because they are smaller and don’t require bone grafting, mini implants can be placed in a single, minimally invasive procedure.
- Immediate results: With mini implants, you’ll be able to restore your smile and regain your bite immediately.
- Quick Recovery: You can quickly resume your daily activities since recovery after a mini implant procedure typically takes 24-48 hours.
- Combats Bone Loss: Mini implants mimic your natural tooth root, enabling them to stimulate your jawbone so you don’t experience bone loss.
- Budget-friendly: Traditional implants can be expensive. Mini dental implants cut those costs in half, making them an affordable option for many patients. We also offer flexible financing options to help make your payments manageable.
Get Expert Tooth Removal and Replacement in Harrisburg, NC
Tooth extractions can be scary, but they are common in today’s dental offices. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. David P. Ney, DDS, will provide quality care to help you achieve a healthy smile. If you need a tooth pulled or are considering mini dental implants to replace a lost tooth, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.