Whether a patient is suffering from severe dental decay or needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, tooth extractions are an important service for patients in the Leland and Wilmington area. Dr. Austin of Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery proudly offers fast and easy tooth extraction for his patients. By having unwanted teeth removed, patients can reduce their pain and suffering and prevent further oral health issues from developing.
Types of Tooth Extraction
There are two main types of tooth extraction. Which procedure is required depends on the issue at hand. Dr. Austin will thoroughly examine each and every Leland and Wilmington patient at their initial consultation to see which type of extraction would ideally suit them.
Simple Tooth Extraction
In simple tooth extractions, Dr. Austin will not need to cut into the mouth or disturb the gums. Instead, he’ll use an instrument called an elevator to help loosen the tooth out of the socket. Once it’s almost free, he’ll carefully remove it using forceps.
Surgical Tooth Extraction
In surgical tooth extractions, the tooth will need to be cut out of place. To do this, Dr. Austin will make an incision in the gums to access the tooth. In some cases, he may also need to remove surrounding bone or cut the tooth into pieces to get it out of the mouth.
What Are Some Reasons for Tooth Extraction?
There are many reasons why Leland and Wilmington patients might require a tooth extraction. It’s not a decision to take lightly, and Dr. Austin will make absolutely sure it’s the right choice before performing the procedure. In many cases, having a tooth extracted can ease suffering and prevent other complications from occurring. Some of the most common reasons to extract a tooth include:
- A mouth that is too crowded, especially if the patient wishes to have braces or other orthodontic treatment. It’s also important if an extra tooth is blocking another tooth from coming in.
- Infection of the tooth, especially in cases where the decay has reached the pulp and a root canal did not fix the problem.
- Baby teeth that are preventing permanent teeth from coming in.
- Getting radiation therapy in the head or neck.
- Having a high risk of infection in a tooth, especially for patients who are undergoing an organ transplant or chemotherapy.
- Wisdom teeth removal. The wisdom teeth are an extra set of molars in the back of the mouth that can cause pain, irritation, and infection if not removed in early adulthood.
- Teeth that are impacted, meaning they grow in sideways and don’t fully emerge from the gums.
- Fixing the mouth after dental trauma, such as a car accident or sports incident.
What Is the Preparation Like for a Tooth Extraction?
If Leland and Wilmington patients are considering tooth extraction, their first visit to Dr. Austin will be an initial consultation where he can learn more about their issues and develop a plan of care. The visit will start with an X-ray or 3-D imaging of the affected tooth to get a better idea of what the issues may be. The patient will also be asked to provide their dental and medical history, including all of the medicines they take, so Dr. Austin can know if tooth extractions will be safe. For example, patients with one of the following conditions might need to take extra precautions before their extraction:
- Heart valve replacement
- Liver disease
- Problems with the immune system
- Congenital heart defects
- Artificial joints, such as a knee replacement
- Recurring bacterial endocarditis
If this is the case, the patient may be prescribed antibiotics to take before the procedure. This limits the chances of infection traveling to another part of the body.
The day of the extraction, patients should wear short sleeves to give Dr. Austin easier access for their IV line. They will also need to avoid eating or drinking for at least eight hours beforehand, as this ensures the stomach is empty in case the patient vomits while under anesthesia.
What Happens During a Tooth Extraction?
When it’s time for the tooth extraction at Dr. Austin’s Leland and Wilmington office, patients will be given a choice of local anesthetic or IV sedation. Local anesthetic will be more than enough to ease the pain of the procedure, and all patients will feel is a bit of pressure as Dr. Austin removes the tooth. However, some patients prefer to be unconscious when their teeth are removed, which is why Dr. Austin provides the option for sedation.
Once the area is numb, or the patient is asleep, Dr. Austin will perform either a simple or surgical extraction. After the tooth is gone, the empty socket will be packed with a gauze pad to stop the bleeding and help a blood clot form. If the gum is open too much, Dr. Austin might also use stitches to help close the incision.
What Is the Recovery Like After a Tooth Extraction?
After a tooth has been pulled, Leland and Wilmington area patients can expect to feel some discomfort for the next few days. Usually, this pain is mild and can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. Patients may experience bleeding for the next 24 hours, but this should ease up as a clot forms.
To prevent irritation, patients should stick to a liquid or soft food diet for a few days. They should also avoid brushing the area and use a gentle warm salt water rinse to keep the wound clean. Finally, it’s imperative to avoid smoking or using a straw for at least several days, as this can lead to a painful condition called dry socket. This is when the blood clot in the socket is dislodged.
Quick and Easy Tooth Extraction in Leland and Wilmington
If you live in the Leland and Wilmington area and think you might require tooth extractions, contact Dr. Austin. He takes his time with every patient to ensure they’re comfortable and confident with the procedure.