What You Should Know About Tooth Extractions
No one wants to lose a tooth, but it’s unfortunately necessary sometimes. The staff at our Cerritos office can handle all your dental care issues, including extractions if you need them. We also offer multiple options for you to choose from to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
We get a lot of questions about tooth extractions. The following are the most common questions we receive and the answers. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Dentist of Cerritos and we’ll be happy to answer them.
Why Do I Need a Tooth Extraction?
The goal of your provider is to keep all of your teeth healthy and functional. Sometimes that’s not possible. If a tooth suffers from a severe infection or has significant damage, removing the tooth may be the only option to restore your dental health. Your doctor will only recommend an extraction if it’s absolutely necessary.
What Are the Different Kinds of Tooth Extractions?
There are two kinds of tooth extractions: nonsurgical and surgical. A non-surgical, or simple, extraction is performed on a visible tooth with a pair of forceps while you’re under local anesthesia. It is essentially “pulling” the tooth. This is the simplest kind of tooth extraction.
If a nonsurgical extraction isn’t possible for the tooth in question, the doctor will have to extract the tooth surgically. This means cutting into the tissue around the tooth to access the roots and remove them. You’ll be under local anesthesia for this procedure as well.
Your doctor may or may not use nitrous oxide during the procedure as well as local anesthesia.
Are There Any Alternatives to Having a Tooth Extraction?
Usually there are not. A tooth extraction is most often the last resort. However, in some cases wherein your tooth needs a root canal and a crown, you may be offered the option of extracting the tooth instead. In this case, the root canal is a way to save the tooth, but we must also put a crown on the tooth after the root canal procedure.
Some reasons you might choose an extraction over a root canal are cost (it’s a significantly cheaper procedure) or uncertainty of the success of the root canal procedure.
What Is Recovery After a Tooth Extraction Like?
Recovery after a tooth extraction is normally quick and easy. You will be given detailed instructions to follow to make your recovery smooth and to avoid developing an infection after the procedure. You’ll need a ride home after the extraction procedure if strong anesthesia is used. You’ll need to rest and avoid strenuous activity for the first few days afterward.
You’ll also need to eat a soft-food diet for a few days and avoid smoking or drinking through straws until the socket heals over. The latter can give you a painful complication called a “dry socket,” which is what happens when the blood clot that fills the socket gets dislodged before the wound has healed and exposes the bone and nerves. This often requires a follow-up visit and antibiotics.
What Are My Options for Replacing the Missing Tooth or Teeth?
You have many options to choose from these days to replace missing teeth. You may choose a dental implant, which looks and functions just like a natural tooth. This is a popular but expensive option.
You may also choose a “bridge” to bridge the gap left by the missing tooth. This procedure involves putting a crown on either side of the gap to help hold a fake tooth in place.
If you need to have multiple teeth in a row extracted, you can also choose partial dentures to replace the missing teeth.
When you come into the Cerritos office for your consultation, your doctor will go over all the options with you and make the best recommendation for your unique needs.
Can I Leave the Gap Left by the Tooth Extraction Empty?
That is of course a choice that you can make, but it isn’t a good idea. It will allow the other teeth in your mouth to shift position, causing the shape of your face to change and giving you other dental issues. You’ll have to spend more time in our office to correct these problems as they arise.
Leaving a gap can impact your speech patterns and ability to eat as well. These latter complications will be especially evident if you have multiple teeth extracted.
Finally, if the missing tooth is visible, leaving a gap can cause you to lose confidence in your smile. The bottom line is that you should replace the extracted tooth or teeth as soon as possible.
Does Having a Tooth Extraction Hurt?
Your doctor at Dentist of Cerritos will use local anesthesia to make certain the extraction itself doesn’t hurt. You will probably have some pain after the procedure for a few days. Your pain should be minor and manageable with OTC pain medications and warm compresses.
If it doesn’t improve or becomes worse, call the Cerritos office so we can get you in for an exam to see if you have an infection developing.
How Much Does a Tooth Extraction Cost?
The cost of a tooth extraction is dependent on many factors. Among them are which tooth needs to be extracted, the type of extraction (simple or nonsurgical versus surgical), and what portion of the procedure will be covered by your insurance.
When you come into the Dentist of Cerritos office for a consultation, our staff will contact your insurance company and determine your benefits. We will do this for both the extraction itself and the replacement option that you prefer.
We’ll come up with a treatment plan and go over all the relevant financial information while you’re in the office. We can also discuss financing options with you if you would like.
Are You Ready to Fix Your Smile?
Dentist of Cerritos is here to help! We’ll be happy to take care of all your dental needs. We have experienced providers who are focused on providing you with the best dental care possible. Your tooth extraction will be handled quickly and professionally.
Call (562) 414-5064 today to make an appointment for a consultation at Dentist of Cerritos and find out if a tooth extraction is right for you!