If one of your teeth is causing health or functional issues in your mouth, you might need an extraction to remove it. Sinclair Davis, DDS, Diana Diaz, RDH, and the team at Georgetown Advanced Dentistry in Washington, DC, perform tooth extractions safely to help you avoid tooth damage, decay, and other complications. To consult with the team about tooth extractions, book an appointment by phone or online today.

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What are extractions?

Tooth extractions are a safe and professional way to remove unhealthy teeth or teeth that cause structural issues in your mouth. The procedure is quick, and you can have anesthesia, sedation, or both to be more comfortable.

During an extraction procedure at Georgetown Advanced Dentistry, the team uses either a simple or complex extraction procedure to remove your tooth:

Simple extractions

You get a simple extraction if your tooth is visible above the gum line. Your dentist provides local anesthesia to numb the area before grasping and loosening the tooth with forceps.

Surgical extractions

Surgical extractions happen for an impacted tooth or a tooth that is not visible above the gum line. For this type of extraction, you might need general anesthesia. Your dentist makes an incision in your gum to access the tooth and may need to break it into multiple pieces before pulling it out.

When do I need a tooth extraction?

Extractions are necessary for a number of different reasons. If your Georgetown Advanced Dentistry provider recommends an extraction, they tell you why you need it and how it will improve your oral health. A dental extraction can be a treatment for:

  • Overcrowding
  • Heavy tooth decay
  • Tooth infections
  • Tooth damage due to force from an incoming tooth

Your provider might also recommend an extraction as a precursor to getting braces or another orthodontic treatment to make room for your shifting teeth.

One of the most common types of tooth extractions is a wisdom tooth extraction. Your wisdom teeth are the molars in the very back of your mouth, and you have four in total. Many people choose to remove them around the time they appear in late adolescence to prevent complications from crowding.

How long does it take to recover after an extraction?

Recovering from a tooth extraction takes a few days. During this time, you should follow all instructions from the Georgetown Advanced Dentistry team for a smooth recovery. They include:

  • Taking the rest of the day off
  • Avoiding smoking and tobacco products
  • Avoiding straws for 24 hours
  • Avoiding the extraction area when brushing and flossing
  • Using medications as prescribed to control pain and inflammation
  • Eating soft foods only
  • Sitting and sleeping with your head propped up
  • Using ice for 10 minutes at a time

You should book an appointment if you notice pus drainage from the extraction site, if your pain stays consistent, or if you get a fever. These are all signs of a possible infection that needs treatment right away. You may need to come in for a follow-up appointment so the team can remove your stitches if they aren’t dissolvable.

To learn more about the extraction process and find out if a tooth extraction might improve your oral health, call Georgetown Advanced Dentistry, or book an appointment online today.