Sometimes, tooth extractions are necessary and while you may think they are scary, they are quite routine and one of the most commonly performed dental procedures in our La Habra office.
Dr. Cho wants to talk to you more in-depth about tooth extractions so that you know why they may be required, what to expect, and more.
If you would like to learn more about tooth extractions or you have an upcoming appointment and want to ask us questions, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kenneth Cho Dentistry here in La Habra, CA.
Reasons Your Tooth Needs to Be Extracted
Permanent teeth are supposed to be just that, permanent, right? You would think so, but our teeth are not resilient to everything. In fact, Dr. Cho says the most common reasons for tooth extractions include damage to the tooth, the tooth being knocked out partially, or tooth decay.
Below, we will talk more about some of the reasons WHY you may need to have a tooth extracted here in our La Habra office.
Periodontal disease or, most commonly known as gum disease, can be one reason why you need to have your teeth, or a tooth extracted. Since this disease causes an infection around the tissues of the tooth, your tooth may become loose and need to be removed from your mouth.
When a tooth is at a higher risk for infection, Dr. Cho may recommend that it be extracted to stop that risk. Often, patients who are receiving chemotherapy, have HIV, or other systematic diseases will experience this.
Just as a tooth needs to be removed when it is a risk, it needs to be removed when it is infected. Teeth become infected from decay and the most common treatment is a root canal but if the bacteria in the tooth is not removed or continues, then the tooth will need to be extracted, even after the root canal procedure is performed.
Teeth that are crowded do not grow in correctly and will require treatment. If your mouth is crowded with teeth, then Dr. Cho may recommend that you have some of the teeth extracted to make room for new teeth or for orthodontic treatment.
What to Expect at Your Tooth Extraction
Dr. Cho is an experienced oral surgeon and is licensed to complete tooth extractions here in La Habra, CA. It is important that you ONLY work with a trained and licensed dentist to avoid infection and complications.
Before you have your tooth pulled, Dr. Cho will administer a local anesthetic to you that will numb the area of the tooth to be pulled. This prevents you from feeling any pain during the procedure. In complicated cases, a general anesthetic, which is stronger than the local, may be used, but this will be discussed with you prior to the procedure being performed.
If you have an impacted tooth that needs to be removed, Dr. Cho will start by cutting the gum and bone tissue to access the tooth. He will then grab the tooth with forceps and rock it in a forward and backward manner until the tooth is loosened and comes out. In some cases, a tooth may need to be removed in multiple pieces.
Once the tooth has been removed from your mouth, a piece of gauze will be placed in your mouth to help stop bleeding and allow for a clot to form in the socket. If you need any type of stitches, this is the time in which they would be applied.
It is vital that you never suck from a straw or smoke until the extraction site is completely healed. Doing so can lead to dry socket, which is when the blood clot is removed from the extraction site and it is painful. If you do experience dry socket, call our office immediately.
What Should I Alert Dr. Cho About BEFORE the Extraction?
Tooth extractions are routine and considered safe, but there are certain situations where you do need to tell Dr. Cho before the extraction is performed. If you have an increased risk of serious infection, you need to make sure you let Dr. Cho know this. You may need to receive antibiotics both before and after the procedure.
Prior to your tooth being extracted, Dr. Cho will need to know about your medical history and any supplements or medications you take.
You also need to let Dr. Cho know if you have the following:
• Impaired immune system
• History of bacterial endocarditis
• Artificial joint
• Congenital heart defects
• Liver disease
• Man-made or damaged heart valves
• What Happens Now That the Tooth Has Been Pulled?
Once your tooth has been extracted, you will need to follow all of Dr. Cho’s recommendations and instructions. You will be sent home the same day. Recovery from the extraction will take about one to a couple days until you feel yourself again and regain your normal activities.
Below you will find some tips from Dr. Cho about how you can reduce discomfort and infection:
• Relax for the next 24 hours and take it lightly until you feel better and bleeding has subsided
• Sleep with your head propped up to discourage bleeding
• Do not rinse or spit forcefully from your mouth during the first 24 hours
• Apply an ice pack to the area to help minimize swelling
• Take any and all prescribed medications
• Use gauze to control the bleeding
• Do not drink from a straw during the first 24 hours
• Eat a diet of soft foods until the area is healed and no longer tender
• Avoid smoking
• Once 24 hours has passed, do rinse your mouth out with a salt and water mixtures (8 ounces of warm water to a half teaspoon of salt)
• Always make sure to follow a good oral hygiene routine (brush and floss as normal)
When You Should Call Dr. Kenneth Cho Dentistry
Tooth extractions do not usually cause any issues for patients, but there are times when you should call us, especially if symptoms present themselves.
It is normal for you to experience some slight pain once the anesthesia wears off and you may have swelling and light bleeding for 24 hours. However, if you have severe pain or the pain lasts for more than 4 hours after the extraction, give us a call.
You should also call us if you experience:
• Chills or a fever
• Redness, swelling, or discharge from the area
• Signs of infection
• Coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe nausea, or vomiting
• You should expect it to take about a week or two until new gum and bone tissue form over the extraction spot.
Contact Our La Habra, CA Dental Office Today
If you would like to learn more about tooth extractions, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kenneth Cho Dentistry today!