While tooth extraction is generally the last resort for dentists, severe damage or infection can make it the only option to protect your oral health. If you have a tooth that is damaged beyond repair, Dr. Turner P. Emery, Michael D. Wooten, and Nicole C. Eisenberg at Knoxville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Knoxville, TN, can perform a safe and virtually painless tooth extraction. By electing to undergo your extraction at our office, you can benefit from a full range of oral surgery services, from bone grafting, to maintain the density of your jaw, to dental implant placement, to replace the extracted tooth.
Reasons for Extractions
Before recommending an extraction, your dentist will first try to save the tooth using a filling, root canal therapy, dental crown, or orthodontia. However, an extraction can replace the purpose of these treatments in certain cases:
- Orthodontic treatment: If your small jaw has led to overcrowding, removing a tooth may help correct your bite more effectively than traditional orthodontics.
- Severe infection or decay: Removing a tooth with extensive decay or deep infection can eliminate serious pain, fever, and other symptoms.
- Periodontal disease: Left untreated, gum disease can destroy supportive gum tissue and severely loosen teeth. An extraction can eliminate discomfort.
- Wisdom teeth: When wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly, a wisdom tooth removal can prevent future complications.
- Traumatic injury: Severely broken or cracked teeth may require immediate extraction to avoid further damage.
At Knoxville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can also remove stubborn baby teeth that need to be extracted to allow the emergence of adult teeth.
What to Expect
There are two types of extractions: simple and surgical. A simple extraction refers to procedures in which the tooth is already visible above the gum line. During this type of extraction, the doctor will gently loosen and remove the tooth with forceps.
At the time of extraction, we can also perform a ridge augmentation graft to preserve the integrity of your jaw.
A surgical extraction involves teeth that are partially or completely hidden under the gum line. Our oral surgeons can also remove teeth that have broken underneath the gum line.
Recovery and Aftercare
Even simple extractions are considered surgery, so it is important to take the time to recover after your procedure. You will likely experience some discomfort, which most patients manage with over-the-counter pain medication. Applying ice or cold compresses to the area can help reduce swelling and discomfort, as well.
After the procedure, a clot will form at the extraction site. It is important not to disturb this clot as this can cause a painful condition known as dry socket. Avoid smoking, using a straw, rinsing, or spitting for at least 24 hours. We also recommend eating soft foods, such as soup or pudding, the day after extraction.
Alleviate Pain and Discomfort
Our oral surgeons specialize in safe extractions that are as pain-free as possible. To learn more about extractions and the other surgical services we offer, contact our office online or call us at at (865) 584-6207 today.