Dental Extractions Los Alamitos
Most of us will need to undergo a tooth extraction at some point in our lives. The most frequent reason for extractions is, of course, wisdom teeth, or third molars. Los Alamitos dentist Dr. Edward Luong has several years of experience with dental extractions, including wisdom teeth extractions.
Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
While a small minority of patients will never encounter a problem with their wisdom teeth, it is far more common for these teeth to grow in impacted, which means they become wedged against another tooth or the jawbone and do not fully emerge into the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems, including infection, decay, and gum disease, as well as potential damage to surrounding teeth.
We recommend patients be evaluated for wisdom teeth removal by 13 years of age and have them removed by 15-16 years if necessary. Extracting the wisdom teeth during your teens offers many benefits over waiting until later in life. The roots are not yet fully developed, making the extractions easier on both the patient and the dentist. The bone is more flexible at this early age, so your extraction site will heal faster and more completely.
Whether due to decay, trauma, illness, poor positioning, or other reasons, sometimes it is better for the overall health of your mouth to have a tooth extracted. We can perform most of these extractions in our Los Alamitos dental office, and for more complicated extractions we will refer you to a good oral surgeon experienced in these more complicated removals.
How are Extractions Performed?
During your extraction, we will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. If the tooth has erupted it can usually be extracted quite easily. Wisdom teeth that are impacted within the jawbone may require an incision in the gums and removal of the bone covering the tooth. Impacted teeth may be removed in sections to minimize the amount of bone lost through the extraction.
In most extractions, sutures are not necessary. If we feel the extraction site will heal better with sutures, we will place these in the gums and provide care and follow-up instructions as necessary. Most extraction procedures are over quickly. We will advise you if we foresee any complications that will make your extraction take a longer-than-normal amount of time.
Caring for an Extraction Site
Proper aftercare is vital to proper healing of your extraction site. Plan to eat only liquids and very soft foods for the first few days (soup, jello, pudding, mashed potatoes, et cetera.) Do not rinse your mouth at all on the first day. After 24 hours, we recommend gentle rinsing of the extraction site with salt water to help keep the site disinfected and promote quick healing.
Avoid drinking through a straw or smoking for 72 hours after an extraction. The suction caused by these activities can result in dry socket, an extremely painful condition that occurs when the blood clot formed after an extraction is dislodged. If you experience extreme pain within the first few days after an extraction, contact our office immediately for a follow-up appointment to determine if you have dry socket.
Compassionate Care for Dental Extractions
If you are in need of a tooth extraction or would like you or your child evaluated for wisdom tooth removal, contact our office today for a consultation.
Just a note to say how much I appreciate your patience and also for being so kind to me when you removed my wisdom tooth! So ... Read More