Unexpected dental emergencies happen, but they don’t have to keep you from living your life. We are here to help.
When dental emergencies happen, knowing what to do can mean the difference losing and saving a tooth. These emergencies can present in different forms. Whether it is severe spontaneous pain from a tooth, an achy jaw when you wake up in the morning, a dental abscess, or a tooth damaged from trauma the team at Blue Wolf Dental is here to help. We are able to provide several procedures that will help you with alleviating your pain and saving your tooth. We even provide support for patient outside of normal clinical hours. If for some reason your tooth can not be saved, we will discuss with you all of the available options to replace that missing tooth to restore your smile.
Our goal at Blue Wolf Dental is to preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. There are times when it is in your best interest (or your child) to have a tooth extracted (removed). This could be the case for a variety of reasons, including: damage or trauma to the tooth, extensive tooth decay, or even overcrowding.
Whatever the reason, tooth extraction is more often than not a very routine procedure. How straightforward this minor surgery is will depend several factors like your health history, the location in the mouth of the tooth to be extracted, and the position of the tooth roots. For example, a front tooth with a single straight root is easier to remove than a molar with multiple roots. This is especially true for wisdom teeth that are below the surface surrounded by gum tissue and bone. This is also referred to as an impacted tooth. We often see this with a wisdom tooth due to other teeth blocking its path preventing full eruption.
Still, tooth extraction is nothing to be feared when done by a gentle, experienced hand. Keep in mind that a tooth is not rigidly fixed in its surrounding bone. Teeth are actually attached to the bone via a network of fibers that form what is known as the periodontal ligament. By carefully manipulating the tooth, these fibers can be detached and the tooth freed without much trouble.
The first step in any dental extraction is a radiographic (x-ray) examination to assess the position of the tooth roots and the condition of the surrounding bone. This will allow any possible complications to be anticipated prior to the procedure. A thorough medical and drug history is taken, to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Your options for anesthesia and sedation will be discussed.
With every dental extraction local anesthesia is provided to numb the teeth to be removed, surrounding bone, and gum tissues in the area. For some patients additional sedatives nitrous oxide (which is inhaled), oral sedatives (taken in pill form), or conscious sedation (IV sedation) will be used to manage any anxiety.
As the tooth is being removed, steps are taken to ensure the bone and gums that surround it are not damaged. Sometimes, in the process of removing a tooth, a small amount of lab processed bone grafting material is placed into the extraction socket to help preserve the bone volume there. This is particularly important when the placement of a dental implant is anticipated in the future.
Immediately after your tooth is extracted, the socket will be covered with sterile gauze; gentle pressure will be applied for 10-20 minutes to control any bleeding. Small sutures (stitches) might also be used for this purpose. It’s normal to experience some mild to moderate post-operative discomfort and/or swelling. Taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and/or aspirin the day of surgery should control most symptoms. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to ensure infection-free healing. Using ice packs on the outside of your jaw, and eating softer foods until you feel more comfortable can also be helpful. Within a few days, all should be back to normal.