Oral surgery encompasses dental surgery of the teeth, jaws, mouth, and even the face and neck for complex procedures. For most cases, including at Santa Rosa Dental, oral surgery focuses on extracting problematic teeth or placing dental implants. Our Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice will determine if your oral surgery case can be addressed at our Santa Rosa dental practice (such as removing wisdom teeth), or must be treated by oral surgeons at a hospital or surgery center (such as cancerous bone removal).
You may need a tooth extraction for several reasons, and Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice will thoroughly explain all scenarios and tooth extraction options to you. Sometimes a tooth becomes severely decayed and cannot be saved with a root canal or dental crown. Extremely decayed teeth will become more painful and spread the infection to other areas, so your Santa Rosa dentist must extract them. A tooth may have a severe crack that will inevitably lead to decay, so you are faced with the decision of extracting the tooth now or later when it becomes more painful and the infection more widespread.
Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice also extracts teeth that are poorly positioned and slowly shoving or twisting the rest of your teeth out of alignment. Many wisdom teeth are extracted for this reason, especially if you are preparing for orthodontic treatment at Santa Rosa Dental.
Experienced Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice understands the potential problems resulting from a tooth extraction. With the sudden void in your mouth, the underlying bone and gum tissue can recede, neighboring teeth can shift, and your entire bite can change and cause chewing and TMJ (jaw joint) pain. Luckily, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice is educated in more than simply tooth extraction. At Santa Rosa Dental, we will discuss the tooth extraction and any followup care options, to ensure you remain comfortable and smiling.
The Tooth Extraction Process
At your tooth extraction appointment, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice will gently numb your tooth and surrounding gums and jaw bone. If your tooth is firmly anchored into the bone, your Santa Rosa dentist may cut the tooth into sections and carefully remove it piece by piece. Normally your tooth can be extracted at Santa Rosa Dental in as a whole unit. In this case, you will pressure as the tooth is rocked to widen the socket. Don’t worry; you shouldn’t any feel pain, because experienced Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice uses local anesthetic to completely numb the surrounding nerves and block the transference of pain.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare Santa Rosa
Healing After Teeth Extractions
Your long, thick teeth roots are firmly embedded in bone. After a tooth extraction, there will be a hole in your jaw bone where the tooth was. In the course of a few months, your body should naturally fill in this hole with new bone. For the first one or two weeks following your tooth extraction, you will be aware of the hole as your body heals and the blood clots help your gum tissue grow over and cover that hole. Most patients of Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice forget about the tooth extraction hole after one or two weeks, as they feel no discomfort, and the gum tissue becomes uniform.
Some bleeding may occur after a tooth extraction. Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice recommends placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for thirty minutes. This usually controls the bleeding. If post-tooth extraction bleeding persists, please contact Santa Rosa Dental.
Blood Clots That Form In The Empty Socket
Blood clots are important for the tooth extraction healing process. You do not want to disturb or dislodge a blood clot in your empty tooth socket. To encourage the formation and spread of blood clots, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice recommends that for 24 hours after a tooth extraction, you avoid rinsing, spitting, smoking, drinking hot liquids, and using a straw or toothpick.
Eating After Your Tooth Extraction
You do not want to aggravate the extraction site or dislodge the blood clots needed for healing. Experienced Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice recommends you chew your food on the opposite side of your month for a few days, and perhaps (depending on the type and complexity of tooth extraction) maintain a liquid diet for the first 24 hours. You should also refrain from eating hot foods, drinking hot beverages or alcohol, and using tobacco products for at least the first 24 hours following your tooth extraction.
Brushing & Cleaning After Your Tooth Extraction
After your tooth has been extracted at Santa Rosa Dental, avoid brushing the neighboring teeth near the extraction site for a full day. In the following days you can resume gentle brushing, taking great care not to disturb the open socket and healing process. Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice recommends you avoid commercial mouth wash or rinses, which will infiltrate and irritate the tooth extraction site. Beginning 24 hours after your tooth extraction as Santa Rosa Dental, you should start rinsing with salt water (one teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed. Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice will determine the length of your post-extraction care, which will depend on the number of teeth extracted, their location, and the complexity of each tooth extraction.
Swelling may occur after a tooth extraction. To reduce swelling, place an ice pack on your cheek or jaw (over the tooth extraction area) for ten minutes, then remove it for twenty minutes, then repeat this 10-on/20-off cycle several times up to twenty-four hours. If swelling persists, or if you are in pain after your tooth extraction, contact Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice.
Pain & Medications
If you experience pain after your tooth extraction, you can use non-prescription over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your pain becomes more intense then contact Santa Rosa Dental.
Occasionally after a tooth has been extracted, the needed blood clot fails to form or becomes dislodged. This condition is known as dry socket, and it significantly delays the post-extraction healing process. You may have dry socket if three or four days after your tooth extraction, you experience a throbbing pain radiating from the extraction area. Other dry socket symptoms include a bad taste, bad breath, or the feeling that the tooth extraction site is dry.
Experienced Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Michael Rice does everything possible to reduce your chances of contracting dry socket. Our tooth extraction surgical methods are advanced, and we provide you with clear and helpful postoperative instructions.