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Tooth Extractions

Tooth Extraction

Fox Valley Dental makes every effort to preserve your natural teeth, however in some instances teeth must be removed, or extracted, in order to maintain your dental health. One of the most common reasons for tooth extractions is to extract partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth. Although tooth extractions are performed in our office, they are still considered to be oral surgery.

Did You Know?

The caffeine found in tea bags can stop bleeding after a tooth extraction. Often times if you experience bleeding, you may be told to bite down on rolled gauze or a tea bag for about 30 minutes. In most cases, this does the trick and stops the bleeding.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to have my teeth extracted?

Some common reasons for having a tooth extracted include:

  • Severe tooth decay that cannot be treated with a root canal
  • Severe tooth damage that cannot be treated with restorative measures
  • Advanced Periodontal disease
  • Malformed teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth

Ultimately, only the dentists at Fox Valley Dental can determine if you need to have a tooth extracted or not. To find out if you are in need of a tooth extraction, schedule a consultation at Fox Valley Dental today.

Diagram of partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth

What are partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the third molars that start to erupt around your late teens. Often times, there is not enough space for these teeth to erupt properly. If some of the tooth’s crown is visible above the gum line, then it is considered partially erupted. If the tooth fails to break through the gums altogether, then it is considered to be fully erupted.

You may have partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth if you have:

  • Red, swollen, tender, and/or bleeding gums, especially towards the back of your mouth
  • Jaw pain & swelling
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste
  • Difficulty opening your mouth or eating

Why do wisdom teeth need to be extracted?

If your wisdom teeth are able to erupt properly, they may not need to be extracted. However, the majority of wisdom teeth end up being partially or fully impacted. Despite the type of impaction, wisdom teeth will continue to grow at an angle towards other teeth, grow at an angle towards the back of the mouth, grow at a right angle while “lying down” in the jawbone, or grow straight up and down within the jawbone.

All of these growth patterns will eventually result in damage to the surrounding teeth, possible cysts, tooth decay of the affected teeth, and gum disease. In addition, partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth will continue to cause a great deal of pain and discomfort and can hinder eating and speaking abilities.

How do I prepare for my tooth extraction appointment?

Before your tooth extraction appointment, you should be schedule for a pre-op appointment. During this appointment, our dentists will explain the procedure and what you should do to prepare. They will ask you about any medications you are taking, as well as any health conditions you may have. Be sure to mention if you have a congenital heart defect, diabetes, liver disease, thyroid disease, renal disease, hypertension, an artificial joint, damaged heart valves, adrenal disease, an impaired immune system, or a history of endocarditis. At your pre-op appointment, you may also be given antibiotics to take before the procedure, especially if you have an impaired immune system or a complicated procedure.

The night before your tooth extraction appointment, you will need to stop eating and drinking anything after midnight. The morning of your tooth extraction appointment, dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and closed-toed shoes. Before starting the procedure, our doctors will inquire about your health to make sure you are well enough to undergo the procedure. If you have cold or flu symptoms, your procedure will be rescheduled.

What can I expect when having my tooth extracted at Fox Valley Dental?

During your tooth extraction at Fox Valley Dental, you can expect that you will be sedated. There are different types of sedation that may be used: oral, inhaled, and IV. The type of sedation you are given will depend on a number of factors including the nature of your procedure, your health, the desired level of sedation, and medical history. Your sedation options will likely be discussed at your pre-op appointment.

3d model of a tooth extraction

Once your extraction begins, there are two different types of extraction techniques that may be used. The first is called a simple extraction because it is used when the entire tooth is above the gum line and simply needs to be extracted. For a simple extraction, our dentists loosen the affected tooth with a dental tool called an elevator, and then use forceps to remove it.

The second technique is called a surgical extraction and it is used when a simple extraction cannot be performed because the entirety of the tooth is not above the gum line. Surgical extractions are thus performed on partially or fully impacted teeth, and are commonly performed during wisdom teeth removals.

With a surgical extraction, our dentists need to make an incision in the gums to expose the affected tooth. Once they have access to the tooth, they will first fragment the tooth and then remove each fragment until the tooth as a whole has been removed. This is the safest approach that avoids damage to the surrounding structures. In some cases, some surrounding bone structure may also need to be removed.

What can I expect after my tooth extraction?

After your tooth extraction, you can expect to feel groggy from the sedation. Because your mouth will likely still be numb for an hour or two following the procedure, you will likely not feel any pain. You will likely have cotton stuffed in your mouth to stop any bleeding and your mouth may feel dry because of this. Once you have become alert enough, you will be able to be driven home. You cannot drive yourself home after an extraction.

Once home, we recommend taking your pain medications as directed before the anesthetics wear off completely. You will also want to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Someone should stay with you to monitor you for at least 24 hours after your procedure.

Woman with an ice pack on her cheek

Within these first 24 hours, you will need to avoid strenuous activity, spitting or rinsing your mouth, eating or drinking hot or spicy foods, and  drinking alcohol. Additionally, you will need to avoid sucking or drinking from a straw for about a week.

To alleviate any discomfort, we recommend using ice packs for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off in the first 48 hours. After the first 48 hours, you can switch to hot packs for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. You should also sleep with your head elevated to reduce the swelling. At day three, your swelling is usually the worst, but it should go down after that. If you have any questions, call our office.

If you are interested in general dental care, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dokhanchi and Dr. Micaletti of Fox Valley Dental today! We are proud to serve Aurora, as well as the surrounding communities of Sugar Grove, North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Montgomery, Oswego, and Naperville.

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