When does a tooth need to be extracted?
Generally, we may recommend that you have a tooth extracted if it is beyond reasonable means to save it. For instance, a tooth that is broken below the gum line, or recurrent infection in which a root canal would not be successful. Other instances may include impacted wisdom teeth, or if the patient chooses not to restore a damaged tooth. The best way to know whether you need a tooth pulled is to consult with Lake Forest Smiles by scheduling a consultation. For third molar or wisdom teeth removal, we refer patients to a trusted oral surgeon.
How should I prepare for a tooth extraction?
Before the extraction, the dentist will take an X-ray of the tooth. We also will ask you questions about your medical history and about any medications or supplements that you take.
I’m nervous about my extraction, what can I do?
If you feel anxious about your upcoming extraction appointment, ask about sedation dentistry. Lake Forest Smiles offers nitrous oxide and IV sedation, which is usually safe for most healthy individuals. However, consult with Drs. Campbell and Schmidt to find out if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry.
What is recovery like after an extraction?
- Immediately following the extraction, you will experience some bleeding, although this is normal and should subside within a few hours. Call our office if bleeding persists for more than 12 hours.
- We will provide you with a piece of gauze to bite down on for the first few hours. Change the gauze as it becomes saturated.
- Apply ice packs for up to 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Take pain-relieving medication as prescribed.
- We recommend that you avoid spitting forcefully, smoking, or drinking through a straw for the first 24 hours. However, after this period, you may begin gently rinsing with warm salt water, allowing the water to drip from your mouth over a sink instead of spitting.
- Plan on taking the first day off from work and resting at home.
- Avoid strenuous activity, exercising, heavy lifting, or bending at the waist for a day or two.
- Continue a regular routine of oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, but avoid disturbing the extraction site.
- You may prefer to eat soft foods for the first few days, slowly introducing solid foods, as you feel comfortable.
Are there any risks of a tooth extraction?
Tooth extractions are relatively low-risk, and the benefits usually outweigh potential complications. However, if the blood clot does not form or remain in place following an extraction, it results in what is known as a “dry socket,” which is a painful condition requiring treatment from your dentist. Your chances of developing a dry socket are reduced if you avoid smoking, using a straw, or spitting with force following the extraction. If you have further questions, we encourage you to speak with our general dentists in Lake Forest regarding questions or concerns about the risk of extractions.
What happens next?
Once the tooth is removed, you may want to replace it to restore your bite and confidence. Lake Forest Smiles offers tooth replacement options such as dental bridges, dental implants, partial dentures, and full dentures. To find out which tooth replacement option is right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation.
Get a Tooth Pulled in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
If you need an emergency dentist in Lake Forest or want to find out how to deal with a toothache in Lake Bluff, call (847) 234-4800. Drs. Campbell and Schmidt have provided elite dental care to the areas of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. We welcome you to our practice.