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Extractions

Wisdom teeth protruding through the gums is problematic to say the least and having them extracted is an everyday occurrence.  When wisdom teeth don’t line up to come through the gum line uniformly, they become impacted.  This will cause the tooth to only come through partially, or come in unevenly.  It will also be quite uncomfortable for a patient.

In cases when the wisdom tooth only comes through partially, a flap of skin known as an operculum could form on top of the tooth.  This makes cleaning it very difficult.  Food or other particles may even get caught under the skin.  An infection called pericoronitis can easily develop without proper care.  It can go away on its own most of the time, however, a patient can experience discomfort and swelling.

If any teeth ever become impacted, they increase the likelihood of infections developing.  Having teeth extracted to avoid this is key.  Extraction procedures can remove several teeth at once, or even a single tooth.  After a dentist discusses things with their patient, they may decide to use a local anesthetic to numb the sites of the teeth being extracted.  Patients also may prefer to be completely sedated during a procedure and will go under general anesthesia.

An incision is made in the gum tissue around the tooth to expose it.  Tightly gripping the tooth and wiggling it back and forth will loosen it to the point where it can be taken completely out of the gums.  There are cases where teeth are so impacted that this is not possible.  Should this happen, a tooth will be broken in to fragments and then removed.  Once the tooth or teeth are removed, sutures may be used to close the incision at the extraction site.  The best option in this situation is to use soluble sutures that will dissolve after some time.

Rest is the key to recovery after having teeth extracted.  The anesthesia will leave you incapable of driving so a family member or friend will have to accompany you.  It is completely normal for the extraction site to bleed for some time after surgery.  At the end of the procedure, gauze will be applied and it will need to be changed once it becomes soaked.  Should you be bleeding for more than twenty four hours, you should contact your dentist.  When you are resting, you should not lie flat.  Doing so may cause the bleeding to last longer.  Use a pillow to prop your head up if you decide to lay down.  Pain medication may be prescribed to you and you should take it as directed if you are in pain.  Ice packs can also help with discomfort.  A cleaning solution might also be recommended by your dentist.

Soft foods are recommended for a few days after the procedure.  Some foods you should eat are:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Thin Soups
  • Gelatin
  • Ice Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Any food that can be consumed without the need to chew

Should you drink anything, you should not use a straw.  The motion of sucking through the straw can cause your sutures to become loose, as well as slow down the clotting process.  Smoking is also not recommended.  Should you have bleeding, irritation, pain for an extended amount of time, or improper healing you should contact your dentist to schedule a visit.

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