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If you have a tooth that has been damaged by decay or by a trauma, your dentist may be able to save it with a filling, crown, or a root canal. However, if the damage is too severe, the dentist may have to extract the tooth. There are other reasons an extraction may be necessary. If you need braces or another form of orthodontics, some teeth may need to be removed to accommodate the dental work. Some people may have too many teeth in their mouths, and extraction may be used to relieve the problems.

In some situations, such as an impacted wisdom tooth, a surgical extraction will be required. That process will involve sedation and the removal and subsequent repair of bone and gum tissue to remove the tooth. In a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with a tool called an elevator before removing it with a pair of forceps.

After your extraction, you should follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. If you have been given a prescription for pain, swelling or an antibiotic, take your medication as directed.  For the first few hours after the extraction, bite down gently on a piece of gauze to stop any bleeding. You should not eat or drink anything, and avoid speaking when you can. After a few hours, if you feel like eating, you should have soft cool foods, and keep them on the opposite side of your mouth. Don’t brush your teeth for 12 hours, and for when you are able to brush, do not brush the extraction site. Instead, rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution. Smoking will slow the healing process. The suction created by smoking or using a straw can also create suction that can disturb or rupture the blood clot that is protecting the exposed nerve and bone in your socket.

If you have a tooth that has been giving you trouble, you should make an appointment to see our dentist Dr. David Edlund at Hampden Dental Care in Lakewood, Colorado. To reach our office, call 303-586-4034. We look forward to seeing you soon.