A tooth extraction is usually performed when a tooth is badly decayed or cracked and all other options to save the tooth have been addressed. We prefer not to extract teeth unless necessary but we always respect your choice with the treatment you chose. When extractions are performed, we do all we can to make the procedure comfortable for you. Dr. Melissa trained for a year in Hospital Dentistry at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and is well prepared to handle tooth extractions. We routinely extract teeth for denture treatment or emergency treatment. And we can extract wisdom teeth when needed.
Here are a few reasons why a tooth extraction may be necessary:
- Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
- People getting braces may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place.
- People planning to have radiation to the head and neck may need to have teeth extracted before they begin radiation treatment.
- People receiving cancer drugs may develop infected teeth. These drugs weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of infection. Infected teeth may need to be extracted.
- People receiving an organ transplant may need some teeth extracted if the teeth could become sources of infection after the transplant. People with organ transplants have a high risk of infection because they must take drugs that decrease or suppress the immune system.
- People with impacted wisdom teeth (third molars) that have pain or discomfort need to have the third molars extracted. We also remove third molars if they look as if they will cause problems in the future. Third molars are much easier to remove between the ages of 15-21 before the root fully forms. If Dr. Melissa notes a problem with your third molars, we will recommend extraction.
What should you expect when you are scheduled for a tooth extraction?
Dr. Melissa will numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, we will advise you of what post-treatment regimen to follow. In most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. Do not smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
After 24 hours, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently. For pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask us about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don’t clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.
When having an extraction, today’s modern procedures and follow up care provide our patients with greater benefit and comfort than years past.
What if you want to replace your missing teeth?
We have many ways to replace missing teeth such as fixed dental implants, fixed bridges, or removable partial and full dentures. Please ask us what treatment options would be best for your individual needs and wants. We can work with any budget and there are always multiple ways to treat any situation.