In the past, if someone had trouble with a tooth, they often had two options. The first was to let it fall out on its own. The second option was to have it pulled. But this is the 21st Century, and there are many options available that can save a tooth from extraction. Those options can include root canals, fillings, inlays and onlays and crowns.
Whenever possible, our dentist, Dr. Peggy Lovecchio will do everything possible to save a tooth, since your natural teeth are always the best ones for your smile. However, in some cases, a tooth may be so diseased or damaged that it can’t be saved and may even be hazard to the other teeth, In this situation, an extraction may be necessary.
If the dentist tells you that you need an extraction, you may be tempted to panic. Don’t. Modern advances in pain management can keep you comfortable during the process, and we will work with you to find the best tooth replacement option for you.
If you need a simple extraction, the dentist will first loosen the tooth by gently rocking it back and forth with a tool called an elevator. When your tooth is sufficiently loose, he will remove it with a pair of forceps. After the tooth has been removed, the dentist may put in a dissolvable stitch. In many cases, the dentist will place gauze in the area stop any bleeding. Then, he will send you home after making an appointment to check your progress and to discuss restoring your smile.
Once you are home, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with any discomfort. If you experience swelling, you an ice pack or cold pack can help. If the dentist has given you a prescription for an antibiotic, be sure to take it as directed and to finish the prescription.
While you heal from your extraction, be sure you take steps to avoid a condition known as dry socket. After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the empty socket and protects the exposed jaw bone and nerve. If that clot is broken or removed, you will run the risk of getting an infection, and you will more than likely be in very intense pain. If do developr dry socket, call Love Family Dentistry at 540-904-2300 to come back in. The dentist will clean and dress the socket. However, the best thing you can do is avoid dry socket altogether. For the first 24 hours after the extraction, you should stick to soft, cool foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. You can gently brush your remaining teeth but rinse the extraction area with a warm mixture of water and salt. Avoid tobacco since it increase your chances of getting an infection and slows the healing process. You may want drink with a straw to avoid opening your jaw. However, the suction created by the straw and rupture or remove the clot.
If one of your teeth has been giving your problems, we would be happy to see you. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.