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Tooth Extractions

Extractions are surgical dental procedures that remove teeth that are severely damaged or decayed. Because extractions remove your natural teeth, they are rarely the first treatment option and are generally only used when other treatment options have failed or will not help the situation. Although it seems counter intuitive, in some cases extractions are the best option to prevent additional damage from occurring. 

Did You Know?

On average, Canadian dental care performs significantly less extractions than they do fillings. In fact according to the Canadian Dental Associations National Annual Report for 2017, for every 100 dental fillings performed on children, only 1 tooth was extracted. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Why do teeth need to be extracted?

There are a few different reasons why teeth may need to be extracted, such as severe tooth decay, bone loss, severe damage to the tooth or its root, or in cases with partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth. Some people who may need an extraction may not experience any symptoms, while others may notice symptoms such as: swollen gums, tenderness, an unpleasant taste, problems chewing or biting, bad breath, and jaw pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if you believe your tooth may need to be extracted,  schedule a consultation with Dr. Claudia Wood of Danforth Dental Solutions today. 

How do I know if my wisdom teeth are impacted?

Diagram of different types of wisdom teeth impaction

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you will likely be experiencing some of the symptoms listed above. Impaction is the term used to describe a tooth that cannot erupt completely and correctly out of the gums. Many times, wisdom teeth become impacted because there is a lack of space and they do not have adequate room to erupt. Although you may feel there is something wrong with your teeth, only a dental x-ray can prove what type of impaction is occurring.

There are different types of impaction that can occur: horizontal, distal, vertical, and mesial. Horizontal impaction occurs when the tooth lies horizontally below the gum line and pushes into the molar next to it. Distal impaction is rare, but occurs when the wisdom tooth is angled towards the back of the mouth. Vertical impaction is when the tooth is facing the correct direction and simply needs to push out of the gum line. Finally, mesial impaction occurs when the tooth is angled towards the front of the mouth. 

How do I prepare for my extraction appointment at Danforth Dental?

Before your extraction appointment, we require all patients to come in for a pre-op appointment where we can thoroughly discuss the expectations for your extraction appointment. We will discuss your x-rays and the proposed treatment plan, and answer any questions you may have. This is also a necessary step to ensure your medical history and list of medications is current. Your treatment plan, medical history, and medications list will determine what type of dental sedation will be used during your procedure. 

Different types of dental sedation may need to have different preparations. For example, oral sedation may require that you take a pill the night before and the morning of your appointment. Also, depending on the sedation type, you will likely need to fast before your appointment. Generally, this means no eating or drinking anything after midnight. Don’t worry though, all our extractions are scheduled for the morning. 

The day of your appointment, you will need to dress comfortably and wear loose-fitting clothing and closed-toed shoes. You will also need to have a driver with you to wait during your procedure and drive you home after. 

What will happen during my extraction appointment?

Once you arrive at our office, we will check your vitals and ensure that you are healthy before beginning the procedure. We will then make you comfortable and begin your sedation so that you can relax. Depending on the level of sedation, you may feel groggy or even fall into a light sleep. In some cases, you may not remember anything about the procedure. 

A gloved hand holding forceps with an extracted tooth

For your extraction, either a simple or surgical extraction technique will be used. Simple extractions are used on teeth that have erupted past the gum line, while surgical extractions are used on impacted teeth, generally wisdom teeth. During a simple extraction,  a special dental tool is used to loosen and elevate the tooth. Then, forceps are used to remove it. 

A surgical extraction is a bit more complicated and involves first cutting the gums to get to the affected tooth. The tooth will then be broken into smaller pieces and each piece will be removed separately. Although surgical extractions have a more complicated technique, they are safe and avoid damage to the surrounding structures. 

What will happen after my extraction appointment?

After your extraction is over, you will remain in our office until the dental sedation begins to wear off. Once you are able to walk on your own, you will be discharged and sent home. As you come back to normal, you will likely realize that your mouth has been stuffed with cotton. It is important that you keep this cotton in place until directed to remove it. Our office will send you home with detailed post-op instructions. It is highly important that you follow these directions for quick healing. 

Woman using an ice pack on her cheek

For the rest of the day, you will likely feel sore and generally “out of it”. It is very important that you rest and drink plenty of fluids. We also recommend that you take your pain medication before the dental anesthetic completely wears off. Because some pain medications need to be taken with food, you will want to eat soft foods for the first week after your extraction. During that first week, you will also need to avoid drinking from a straw or any sucking in general. You will also need to keep the treatment site clean. 

It is important to note that you will likely be swollen after your extraction and the worst day of swelling is usually on day three. After this, your swelling should slowly begin to decrease. To help with swelling, we recommend sleeping with your head slightly elevated. Ice and heat therapy can also be used to manage swelling, as well as pain. Ice packs are preferred in the first 48 hours and should be used for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, then heat packs can be used after that for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office!

For wisdom teeth or other teeth extraction services, schedule a consultation with Dr. Claudia Wood of Danforth Dental Solutions. Danforth Dental Solutions is proud to serve Toronto and the surrounding areas. 

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