Tooth Extractions are a necessary general dentistry procedure we perform. While preserving all your natural teeth is always the goal, there are situations when it is necessary to remove teeth. Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is home to two talented dentists, Dr. Furgurson or Dr. White who will evaluate your oral health condition and make recommendations for a full treatment plan. This may include a tooth extracted in Chapel Hill, NC.
Preserving the Tooth
When you have tooth pain or other tooth issues, it may seem like the best treatment is to have the tooth pulled. In most cases, however, we will support the decision to preserve the natural tooth. There are many benefits to this including:
- Functional Benefits: A full set of natural teeth are needed for proper chewing, speaking, and maintaining the alignment of adjacent teeth.
- Aesthetics: Any number of missing will create an unattractive smile. Preserving them also prevents the potential for facial collapse that can occur with tooth loss.
- Better Jawbone Health: Pulling a tooth leads to bone loss in the jaw. If we preserve the tooth, it will preserve the bone density and prevent resorption.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Restoring a natural tooth is often more cost-effective. Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, dental bridge, or denture is quite expensive.
- Prevents Adjacent Tooth Issues: Extracting a tooth can lead to shifting of adjacent teeth, causing misalignment. Preserving the tooth helps maintain the proper alignment of surrounding teeth.
When is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?
There are situations, however, where tooth extraction is the best choice. In these cases, your dentist will design a treatment plan to remove the tooth. If necessary, we will also place to replace it with a dental implant, dental bridge, or denture. It is important to replace missing teeth quickly to prevent supporting bone from deteriorating and remaining teeth from shifting.
- Severe Decay or Damage: If you have a tooth that is extensively decayed, damaged, or fractured beyond repair, extraction may be the only viable option.
- Advanced Gum Disease: In cases of advanced periodontal disease where the supporting bone is compromised, extraction might be necessary.
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth: If your wisdom teeth (third molars) don’t have enough space to emerge properly, they may become impacted, causing pain and infection.
- Orthodontic Reasons: Tooth extraction may be required to create space for orthodontic treatment, especially in cases of overcrowded teeth.
- Infection or Abscess: When your tooth is severely infected or has an abscess that cannot be effectively treated with antibiotics or root canal therapy, extraction may be necessary.
- Risk of Infection: If you have a weakened immune system, a compromised tooth that pose as a risk of infection and may require extraction.
- Preparation for Dentures: You may need a tooth extraction to prepare for the fitting of dentures, especially if you have extensive tooth loss.
- Trauma: If your tooth is severely damaged due to trauma and cannot be salvaged, extraction may be the best course of action.
For your complete comfort, we offer dental sedation. Your dentist will discuss your concerns and needs before recommending the most suitable sedation method. Depending on the type of sedation we use, you may need to arrange transportation to and from your dental appointment.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
As family dentists, we will monitor the development of your child’s wisdom teeth. These typically begin to erupt in the late teens and early twenties but we can see them on dental x-rays beforehand. For most patients, dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal to support optimal long term dental health.
Depending on the condition and position of the wisdom teeth, Dr. Furgurson or Dr. White may perform the wisdom tooth extraction in the comfort of our Chapel Hill dentist office. For more complex cases, we may elect to refer you to a local oral surgeon for treatment.
Tooth extraction can be a relatively simple procedure. Especially when the teeth are partially or fully erupted and there is no impact on adjacent teeth. In these situations, we can make patients comfortable with a local anesthetic while your dentist removes the teeth.
If wisdom teeth are impacted in the jaw bone and putting pressure on neighboring teeth, a surgical procedure is necessary to remove the teeth and stabilize the soft tissue. We may place small sutures to enable healing. This type of removal may have a lengthier recovery due to impacted bone and soft tissues.
Whenever we perform a tooth extraction, our staff will provide instructions for at home care to ensure you recover as quickly as possible. A soft diet may be recommended for a specific period of time to reduce the incidence of complications or infection.
Replacing Your Extracted Tooth
For patients that need to replace an extracted tooth, our Chapel Hills dentists will recommend a dental implant if the patient qualifies. A dental implant-supported dental crown is the most natural solution for a missing tooth because it will look, feel, and function similar to a natural tooth.
Tooth Extractions FAQs
Having your tooth extracted may seem like a serious procedure but it is actually fairly routine. The following are the most common frequently asked questions we get about tooth extractions. Please review them and contact us if you have additional questions or concerns.
How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
On average it takes between 1-2 weeks to recover from a tooth extraction. Patients should be able to resume regular activities after 1-2 days, however they need to be careful during the first 2 weeks to keep the area free from bacteria that could cause infection.
How soon can you eat after tooth extractions?
After a tooth extraction patients should wait at least an hour before eating. After the extraction there will be gauze in place to stop bleeding. Be sure to remove these before eating. Patients should be careful of what they eat and stick to a soft diet for at least 1 week after the extraction.
How can I make my tooth extraction heal faster?
The best way to speed up your recovery from a tooth extraction is to keep gauze in place to let the area clot and heal. Patients should be sure to rest and refrain from touching the open area. Patients should also stick to a soft diet, and ice the area when needed. Additionally, you have to avoid drinking from a straw or smoking for at least a week after the extraction.
What are the do’s and don’ts after tooth extraction?
If you can’t avoid a sneeze, keep your mouth open to avoid increased pressure. Avoid probing the extraction site with your tongue – While it will feel odd to have an open space where you once had a tooth, keep your tongue away from it. This can dislodge a healing clot and increase your risk of dry socket.
How can I make my tooth extraction heal faster?
The best way to speed up your recovery from a tooth extraction is to keep your gauze in place and ice regularly. Icing will reduce swelling and gauze will help blood clots form. Patients should also be careful eating around the area of the wound. Do not chew with tender portions of your jaw or open wound areas. We also advise that you avoid smoking.
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain or believe you need your wisdom teeth removed, contact Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. We can schedule you for a consultation to see if you need a tooth extraction in Chapel Hill, NC. You can reach our office by calling 919.736.6175 or you can schedule an appointment online.