Effortless Tooth Removal For a Radiant, Healthy Smile
At Mid-Valley Dental Care, we understand that you may not be excited about the idea of tooth extraction. It’s normal to feel apprehensive or even dismayed about the idea of having a permanent tooth pulled, even if it’s causing you pain or degrading the look of your smile.
Rest assured, our Northridge extraction dentists, Dr. Casey, Kayla, and Terence Lau, will only recommend tooth extraction when it’s absolutely necessary. If you need an extraction, they’ll also ensure the procedure is fast and painless. Learn more about tooth extraction and wisdom teeth services and how these procedures can keep your smile looking radiant.
What is Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction refers to the techniques used by dental professionals to remove teeth from the socket. Extraction services are normally performed for patients who have teeth that cannot be saved through methods like root canal therapy or dental crowns. Additionally, extraction is sometimes necessary to make room for beneficial restorations such as full dentures and dental implants. The kind of extraction, simple or non-surgical extraction and complex or surgical extraction, will depend on your specific case.
Simple/Non-Surgical Tooth Extraction
Simple/non-surgical tooth extraction is reserved for teeth that are fully erupted or teeth that are visible above the gums except for the root system. This procedure involves simply loosening the tooth in small, usually with a tool called a lifter. Once the tooth is loose, it is gently separated from the root and lifted from the socket.
Complex/Surgical Tooth Extraction
Complex/surgical tooth extraction involves making incisions into the gums to fully expose the tooth. Once the tooth is fully exposed, it is removed from the socket. A surgical extraction procedure is necessary when a tooth is impacted. Impacted teeth have grown in a way where they are not completely visible above the gum line. Impaction often affects wisdom teeth, which have a track record of growing in awkward and painful ways.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of adult molars to develop, usually around the ages of 18 to 25. Due to the way the human mouth has developed, there’s often no room for these teeth to grow properly. This means wisdom teeth may push your other teeth out of alignment as they develop, or grow in strange ways. They can even grow completely sideways and cause pain as they try to force their way through.
To protect your oral health, our Northridge extraction dentists recommend having these teeth extracted as soon as they’re detected, preferably in the younger years. As patients age, wisdom teeth become embedded in the nerves and the jawbone. At this stage, extraction procedures carry more risk of complications, such as loss of feeling in the jaw due to nerve damage and sinus infections.
Who’s a Candidate for Tooth Extraction?
You may be a candidate for tooth extraction if you have:
- Teeth that can’t be repaired
- Severe tooth infection
- Tried root canal therapy and it hasn’t worked
- Deep fractures in your teeth
- Wisdom teeth that cause pain or misalignment
If you’re dealing with any of the problems mentioned above, call Mid-Valley Dental Care at our Northridge dental office by dialing (818) 886-3500. Extraction may help alleviate pain, discomfort, and other issues commonly caused by problem teeth. Dr. Lau will evaluate your situation during your initial consultation, to determine if extraction is the right for you.
The Tooth Extraction Process
Before Dr. Lau decides to approve you for tooth extraction, you’ll undergo an initial consultation. Your consultation will involve a thorough examination, X-rays, a review of your medical history, and questions about your smile goals. The questions your Northridge extraction dentist compiles will help them decide if tooth extraction services are the right choice for you.
Your Northridge dentist will also tell you about your other options and will only recommend tooth removal if necessary to your treatment. During this time, we encourage you to ask any questions you may have. Dr. Lau can also offer sedation options to patients who are feeling nervous and those who have resistance to local anesthetic.
If you’ve been approved for tooth extraction, your Northridge extraction dentist will numb the soft tissues at the target area. Your dentist can apply your sedative of choice or prescribe an oral sedative to take beforehand. Once we’re sure you’re numb and relaxed, your dentist will proceed.
The extraction procedure will vary based on what kind of extraction you require. For a simple extraction, the tooth will be gently loosened and then lifted out with forceps.
For a surgical extraction, your Northridge extraction dentist will make incisions into the gums close to where the tooth is. Depending on the level of impaction, they may need to break the tooth into pieces or expand the bone socket around the tooth for easier removal. Once all pieces of the tooth are loose, it’s extracted with forceps. Your dentist will disinfect and seal the empty socket to ensure it doesn’t cause you pain and to treat and prevent infection.
Aftercare is a vital part of ensuring tooth extraction is successful, especially in the first one or two weeks post-procedure. Dr. Lau will give you precise aftercare instructions, but common guidelines include the following:
- Don’t use tobacco products or drink alcohol as these will impede healing and irritate the socket.
- Don’t rinse vigorously, spit, or suck on straws for at least 72 hours post-procedure. This can dislodge the blood clot and impede healing.
- Be especially gentle when cleaning around the extraction site.
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
- Avoid foods and drinks that can irritate the extraction site, including items that are spicy, hot, and caffeinated.
- Stay hydrated.
- Take any prescribed pain medication and antibiotics as directed.
- Gently rinse your mouth using one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water or an antimicrobial mouthwash three to four times a day or after you eat.
- Attend all follow-up exams with your extraction dentist to ensure proper healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
The exact time your tooth extraction services will take depends on several factors. Common factors that affect time include what kind of extraction service you require and how many teeth need to be extracted. Your dentist will give you a more accurate breakdown of the time during your initial consultation.
The exact costs for tooth extraction services will vary from person to person. Common factors that affect costs include what kind of extraction is being performed, how many teeth require extraction, and your insurance coverage. You should contact your insurance provider beforehand to confirm with them which costs they can cover.
Your dentist will use anesthetic as needed to ensure your procedure is as comfortable and painless as possible. Talk to your dentist about sedation options beforehand if you’re feeling nervous or you have resistance to local anesthetic.
Complications that are the most likely to arise include:
- Dry socket
- Nerve damage
Rest assured that when the extraction is performed by a dental professional and proper aftercare is administered, complications are rare. If you do experience any complications, please contact your extraction dentist immediately.
Call Your Northridge Tooth Extraction Dentist To Learn More
When you need to have a tooth removed, our Northridge extraction dentists are here to make sure the procedure is painless and goes by as quickly as possible. Mid-Valley Dental Care provides tooth extraction services to new and returning patients in Northridge and surrounding areas such as Granada Hills, Winnetka, and Chatsworth, CA.
Don’t be afraid of tooth extraction. Protect your smile and schedule an appointment with one of the Doctors Lau by dialing (818) 886-3500. You can also fill out the contact form in the upper-right corner and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.