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Extractions

 

Dr. Gilmore is a General Dentist, not an Oral Surgeon, though he performs the majority of our patients oral surgeries.  If you are not currently a patient and have been referred to an Oral Surgeon by your general dentist you will want to contact them.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is still partially or fully in the jaw bone and could coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially. 


When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. It will usually go away on its own, but it causes swelling and pain in the area.

Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that can potentially cause problems, like infections or cysts that erode the jaw bone, need to be removed. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the Dr. Gilmore and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer to go under a general anesthetic so that they will be sedated during the procedure.   At Gilmore Dental we offer conscious sedation (Nitrous Oxide or Halcion) only.  If you prefer to be sedated (IV sedation) we would need to refer you to an oral surgeon.

The gum tissue around the wisdom tooth is cut open to reveal the tooth. The tooth is loosened by gripping it tightly and wiggling it back and forth until it can be lifted out of the gums. Sometimes a tooth may be impacted so tightly that it cannot be simply lifted out of the gums. In cases like this the tooth will be broken up into pieces first before being removed. Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area. Soluble sutures are the best option, which will dissolve on their own.

Broken/Abscessed Teeth

An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth.  It's most commonly caused by severe tooth decay.  Other causes of tooth abscess are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gingivitis or gum disease.

These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (called the pulp).  The infection may also spread from the root of the tooth to the bones supporting the tooth.

It is essential to your health that abscessed teeth are removed promptly as more serious health complications could evolve.  Your upper teeth are only inches from your brain and your lower teeth are close to you heart.

After the surgery you will need to rest. You may need to be driven home by a friend or family member due to the type of the anesthesia given (Halcion or IV). You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down.  Dr. Gilmore will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Dr. Gilmore might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups
  • ...and other food you can eat without chewing.



When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.

 

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