As periodontists, our focus is on helping you save your adult, permanent teeth whenever possible. You can protect your dental health by maintaining routine dental visits and taking time to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash daily, as recommended by your dentist. Good dental care can go a long way to keeping tooth decay and gum disease from damaging your smile.
Minimizing Bacterial Growth and Harmful Inflammation
Dr. Shelby Nelson works to save permanent teeth by helping you prevent harmful bacterial growth in your mouth and, in particular, lowering the amount of periodontal pathogenic bacteria. Combining this approach with educating patients about following a consistent daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way to ensuring a healthier smile.
Sometimes this also means having more frequent cleanings to control developing periodontal pockets and prevent bone loss from advancing gum disease. And thanks to leading-edge periodontal techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, periodontal surgery today allows us to save your teeth with minimal discomfort and quicker healing times. It is good news if you have a tooth that requires extraction by our periodontist.
Why See a Periodontist for Tooth Removal?
As periodontists, we specialize in saving natural teeth through treatments that help you rebuild healthy gum tissue and turn bone loss around (growing back with bone grafting). But when your smile has suffered from a bacterial infection that destroyed precious gum tissue, teeth roots, and the bone structure beneath the gums, that is when the tooth will need extracting. Fortunately, your smile will be in good hands with our periodontist if your dentist refers you.
What To Expect From Your Tooth Extraction
While people are often apprehensive when removing a tooth, the extraction is fairly painless. You will be made comfortable and relaxed thanks to sedation dentistry (local anesthetics are applied as needed). Post-surgery, you can expect to feel a bit of soreness while your mouth continues to heal from the extraction, but your post-op discomfort should be minimal with the help of medications.
Work for a Smooth Recovery
- Get all the rest you need after your extraction and don’t perform any strenuous activity (or heavy lifting). Lifting can dislodge the blood clot, leaving you with a dry socket. It can expose your bone to harmful bacteria, oral debris, and air, which not only hurts but could potentially result in infection. Follow your post-surgery instructions carefully to promote faster healing without interfering with vital blood clot formation. Over time, your blood clot will be replaced by bone and gum tissue as the area continues to heal.
- During your first two weeks after your surgery, don’t use straws, smoke, or rinse your mouth vigorously. This kind of suction could loosen a blood clot and leave you with a painful dry socket. You can still gently brush your teeth near the extraction site, and after the initial 24 hours post-surgery, you can gently rinse your mouth using an antibacterial rinse.
- For the first week after your surgery, stick to a soft diet and don’t eat crunchy foods as they can harden and become stuck in the socket, irritating the area. Great alternatives include enjoying smoothies (without a straw), yogurt, protein drinks, pudding, mashed potatoes, eggs, warm soups, and stews.
- Applying an ice pack to the cheek near the site and keeping your head slightly elevated can help with swelling. Frozen veggie bags make great ice packs, and you can hold it on the cheek for 10 minutes, rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then apply it for an additional 10 minutes to minimize swelling.
Tooth Replacement Options
Once your extraction site has healed, you can replace the tooth so the bones in your mouth don’t weaken or experience loss in density, causing the remaining teeth to shift. Tooth replacement options include dental implants, removable partial dentures, or a fixed bridge. Removing a problem tooth and replacing it will make your mouth look and feel as good as new!