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Tooth Extractions

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Tooth extractions are dental procedures that are sometimes necessary to remove damaged, decayed, diseased, or overcrowded teeth. In most cases, dentists will try to avoid the need for an extraction and they are only needed when the affected tooth cannot be saved or will eventually cause damage to surrounding teeth. Another common reason for a tooth extraction is to remove problematic wisdom teeth. Depending on which teeth are extracted, a replacement may be necessary to fill in the remaining gap.

Did You Know?

Tooth extractions are actually a routine dental procedure that can easily and safely be performed in a dentist’s office. Although it is considered to be dental surgery, tooth extractions are actually pretty straightforward and usually heal pretty quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I a candidate for a tooth extraction?

You may be a candidate for a tooth extraction if:

  • Your teeth are severely damaged or decayed in such a way that restricts your teeth from functioning properly
  • You are wanting to undergo orthodontic treatment but have too many teeth which causes your teeth to overlap. To make more room, the first premolars are generally removed.
  • You have impacted wisdom teeth that are causing damage to the surrounding teeth, gums, nerves, blood vessels, or jaw bone.
  • You have baby teeth that are improperly positioned and may cause your permanent teeth to erupt improperly

To find out for sure if you are a candidate for a tooth extraction, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin H. Speer of Oak Grove Dental Center. At your consultation, Dr. Speer will perform and oral exam and take dental x-rays to evaluate your tooth roots and the surrounding bone.

How can I prepare for my tooth extraction?

Woman holding a pill and a glass of water

To prepare for your tooth extraction, you will need to tell Dr. Speer if you are taking any medications, vitamins, supplements, or over the counter drugs. You will also need to disclose if you have a congenital heart defect, diabetes, liver disease, thyroid disease, renal disease, hypertension, an artificial joint, damaged heart valves, adrenal disease, an impaired immune system, or a history of bacterial endocarditis.

Depending on the nature of your procedure, you may also be given antibiotics to take before the procedure. This is usually the case with long procedures, if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have a specific medical condition that may affect healing. You will also likely have to avoid eating or drinking for 6-8 hours before your procedure.

The day of your procedure, you will want to dress in comfortable, loose-fitted clothing and closed-toed shoes. You will need to avoid smoking before and after the procedure. You will also need to disclose if you have any cold symptoms, or any nausea or vomiting the night before. If so, your procedure may be rescheduled.

What sedation options are offered for tooth extractions?

Oak Grove Dental Center offers oral, inhaled, and IV sedation options for tooth extractions:

  • Oral: a Halcion pill is taken the night before and the morning of surgery. Oral sedation can be used for simple extractions and offers a mild to moderate level of sedation. WIth oral sedation, you will be conscious, but calm and relaxed.
  • Inhaled: nitrous oxide is inhaled during the procedure. Inhaled sedation can be used for simple extractions and offers a mild to moderate level of sedation. With inhaled sedation, you will be conscious, but calm and relaxed.
  • IV Sedation: sedatives are delivered through an IV during the procedure. IV sedation is generally used for surgical extractions and offers a moderate to deep level of sedation. When IV sedation with local anesthesia is used, you may fall into a light sleep but will still be able to be awakened. When IV sedation with general anesthesia is used, you will be completely unconscious.

What should I expect when having a tooth extracted at Oak Grove Dental Center?

Teeth extractions are considered dental surgery, however they are safely performed in the comfort of your dentist’s office. Depending on your treatment plan, there are two different types of extractions that may be performed. For simple extractions, you may receive oral or inhaled sedation, while surgical extractions usually use local or general anesthesia through IV sedation.

If your tooth is entirely visible above the gum line, then a simple extraction will be performed. WIth a simple extraction, Dr. Speer will use a tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth. He will then use forceps to remove the tooth. During a simple extraction, you may feel sensations of pressure, but you should not feel any pain.

If your tooth is partially or fully impacted, or below the gum line, then a surgical extraction will be necessary. With a surgical extraction, a tiny incision will be made in your gums to access the affected tooth. Next, the affected tooth will be cut into pieces and each piece will be removed until the entire tooth, and its roots, has been removed. Part of the surrounding bone may also need to be removed during a surgical extraction.

What should I expect after my tooth extraction?

Soft Veggies

After your tooth extraction, you can expect to feel sore, swollen, and groggy from the sedation. You may also experience mild bleeding and bruising. You will likely wake up with cotton in your mouth to help alleviate any additional bleeding. Because tooth extractions are considered dental surgery, you will be advised to restrict your activities and rest for at least the first few days after your extraction.

To help alleviate any discomfort, you may prescribed pain medications or given instructions on which over the counter medications to use. You can also use ice/heat packs to reduce the swelling. For the first 48 hours after surgery, it is advisable to use ice for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. After the first 48 hours, moist heat is generally recommended.

You will also need to keep the extraction site clean and free from debris. Dr. Speer will provide you with information on how to clean around the extraction site and may prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection.

Finally, you will need to modify your diet until your extraction site heals. For the first 24 hours, cool and soft foods are recommended, and hot foods should be avoided because they can cause bleeding. After the first 24 hours, any soft foods can be eaten. These include: pasta, yogurt, scrambled eggs, applesauce, jello, pudding, steamed veggies, fish, beans, and soups.

Giant tooth sitting on top of money

How much do tooth extractions cost?

Simple tooth extractions generally range from $75 and $200 per tooth. More complex tooth extractions, such as those associated with impacted teeth, are more expensive and can range from $800 and $4,000. The type of sedation will also affect the overall cost of your extraction.  However, dental insurance will usually offer partial coverage on tooth extractions.

At Oak Grove Dental Center, we believe that providing high quality dentistry is only part of creating a successful relationship with our patients. To experience some of the best dental care in Milwaukie, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin H. Speer today!