In some cases, it may be necessary to extract a tooth. This can happen for a variety of reasons such as cases where a deciduous “baby” tooth is reluctant to fall out, a severely broken down and non-restorable tooth is present, or a “wisdom tooth” is poorly positioned and unable to fully erupt into place.
Tooth extraction procedures today are far less painful than ever before, thanks to powerful anesthetics and sedatives. In many cases, a patient who has a tooth pulled experiences little or no discomfort, and only minor bleeding.
Before a tooth is extracted, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed with a topical or injectable anesthetic such as Novocaine.
Patients with extracted teeth sometimes need to take an antibiotic, and at the very least, take precautions following the procedure to ensure that infection doesn’t occur.
Smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged during the post-operative period because they hinder healing and may cause the wound to open. Cold compresses applied to the outside cheek near the extraction area can help reduce any swelling and promote faster healing.