Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last set of permanent molars to emerge. These teeth are also the most likely to need extraction, due to any of several complications.
But other teeth may also need extraction if we can't save them with root canal therapy or other treatment.
Here's what you need to know about the dental extraction procedure.
Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction
Some of the most common reasons to have teeth extracted include:
- Impacted tooth: Bone and gums trap the tooth beneath the surface so it can't erupt.
- Crowding or small mouth: Emerging teeth may cause other teeth to shift or crack due to lack of space.
- Decay or infection: A tooth has severe decay or infection that we can't fix with a filling, dental crown, or root canal.
Dr. Michael Nichols may recommend extraction of one or more of your teeth if any of these issues apply to you. He may also recommend sedation dentistry to make your experience more comfortable.
After your extraction, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home. You will need rest, but lie with your head propped on a pillow to prevent prolonged bleeding.
We will apply gauze when your extraction is complete. When it becomes soaked, change it for a fresh piece. Use pain medication and an ice pack as directed for pain and swelling. If bleeding continues beyond 24 hours, contact our office immediately.
For the first few days following extraction, limit your diet to soft foods.
Also, avoid smoking or using a straw. The pressures created by these actions can slow clotting and loosen sutures.
Request an Appointment With Us
Don't ignore a toothache! If you're experiencing any dental pain or discomfort, don't hesitate to call our office. Our Grand Rapids dentist and his team are ready to help! To schedule an emergency appointment, call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496.