Dental Library- Extractions
Extractions have many common treatment procedures. To facilitate tooth extractions that area of the mouth is first anesthetized (numbed) with a local anesthetic that is usually Lidocaine (Novocain). This is done whether or not intravenous (IV) sedation (putting the patient to sleep) or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is used in the extraction treatment or not. This is because conscious sedation doesn't stop nerve pain signals from reaching the brain and IV sedation only lasts as long as the extraction treatment lasts. To allow the patient to be comfortable long enough to get their prescribed pain control medications and reach home a local anesthetic is always administered. It is always advisable to avoid IV sedation if possible because of the risks involved. Most patients like the idea of being asleep for the extraction treatment but fail to appreciate the added inherent risks systemic IV sedation is associated with. Morbidity and mortality risk factors should always be weighed heavily before choosing IV sedation.
An important part of the extraction treatment is home care. Direct pressure from biting on gauze pads helps stop the bleeding from the extraction site and helps a blood clot to form in the extraction site especially when sutures are not used. To avoid dislodging the blood cot and getting a dry socket, which is an extremely painful complication of extraction treatment, patients should avoid smoking, spitting or drinking through a straw for at least 48 hours and longer if possible. Cessation of smoking is paramount. Not only can sucking on a cigarette cause the blood clot to dislodge but the aerosolized and vaporized components of the tobacco smoke can make post extraction infections much more likely. Antibiotics may also be prescribed by your doctor to help prevent an infection or to clear up an infection that is already present. It is of the utmost importance to comply with your doctor's instructions that are given to you in the office and those that appear on the medication's container to ensure the optimal efficacy from these prescribed medications.
All extracted teeth except third molars (wisdom teeth) need to be replaced to prevent the remaining teeth from shifting. This tooth shifting will cause your occlusion (bite) to collapse and the unopposed teeth to start erupting again giving a roller coaster shape to your bite. Implants, bridges or removable partial dentures can replace the extracted teeth. Replacing extracted teeth promptly avoids collapse of your occlusion preserving your natural bite while keeping the cost and time to a minimum. Remember extractions are done as a last resort and the missing tooth needs to be replaced as soon as possible, so don't delay any longer call today to start the treatment you need and minimize your costs.