While unfortunate, sometimes tooth extractions are necessary. Your dentist in Penacook, NH, Dr. Jennifer Toy, expertly and gently handles situations when a tooth can no longer reside in its original site. She and her team also handle follow-up care and tooth replacement if warranted. Read here about what tells your dentist (and you) when you need an extraction.
The Signs You Need an Extraction
The American Dental Association (ADA) cites three broad categories which point the dentist and patient to tooth extraction. They are:
- Substantial damage to tooth structure due to oral injury
- Overcrowding (limited space in the jaw and/or teeth that are too large or misaligned)
- Dental disease such as advanced periodontitis, infection (abscess) or deep decay
Specifically, teeth which have been traumatized by a hard blow may be so cracked or chipped that even advanced restorations such as root canal therapy, crowns, or veneers cannot repair them. Oral examination and digital X-ray imaging tell Dr.Toy the extent of the damage and confirms the need for extraction.
Regarding overcrowding, sometimes one or more teeth impede orthodontic correction and, therefore, must be removed. Wisdom tooth impaction (when a third molar is encased in bone or gums) is a special case of overcrowding. The wisdom tooth invades the space occupied by another healthy tooth, causing pain and infection. Another common form of overcrowding is when baby teeth that have been retained too long crowd erupting adult teeth, causing misalignment in the process. Dr. Toy may extract them to allow teeth to align correctly and grant orthodontic treatment to proceed.
Finally, periodontal problems, abscess, and extensive tooth decay may damage tooth structure, causing symptoms such as toothache, bad breath, drainage, jaw swelling, fever, and more. While extraction is always a last resort, the procedure relieves these dire symptoms and allows a patient to heal and feel good again.
Dr. Toy and her team use locally injected anesthetic and, if needed, oral sedation to make dental extraction easy to tolerate. She extracts most teeth with a dental elevator and forceps and sutures the site closed.
Afterward, patients should:
- Bite on a sterile 4x4 until bleeding ceases
- Take over-the-counter ibuprofen for pain
- Take antibiotic medication if prescribed
- Avoid smoking, drinking with a straw, or brushing the affected area for at least 24 hours so the blood clot forms properly
- Eat a soft diet (mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, yogurt etc.) for a few days
- Put ice on the jaw to quell any swelling (15 minutes on and 15 off)
Dr. Toy sees her extraction patients for follow-up within a week, and of course, she and her team promptly answer any questions or concerns in the meantime. Additionally, she discusses tooth replacement options so that patients enjoy complete smiles after extraction.
If you have a sick tooth or have other issues which may necessitate extractions, please call Dr. Jennifer Toy's Penacook, NH office for a consultation. She'll work out a treatment plan perfectly tailored to your needs. Phone us at (603) 753-6687.