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As we have discussed last month, you may have a situation where a tooth (or teeth) will need to be pulled. What can cause a need for tooth extraction? You may have been in an accident or suffered an injury where there is damage extensive damage to the tooth. In other cases, advanced tooth decay may be the culprit. Sometimes dentists have teeth removed to prepare for orthodontia. And a tooth may be pulled if there is a severe enough infection which a root canal cannot fix.

Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists who have training in performing surgery) are able to extract teeth. You will need x-rays to show the extent of tooth damage. If it is determined that you need a tooth or teeth extracted, this is typically done on an outpatient basis.

You will receive an injection to numb the area where the tooth will be pulled. If you are having several teeth pulled or if the tooth is impacted, you may receive a general anesthetic. You will need someone to drive you home and after the extraction. You may possibly require assistance while you are recovering.

You may have stitches to help the healing site, which may require removal, unless they are the kinds that dissolve. You will be on a soft food diet after the surgery, until the extraction site heals.

Your dentist will prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to help you recover. If your immune system is weak or if you have a condition making you susceptible to infection, you may also be prescribed antibiotics.

It can take up to two weeks for your recovery and healing. Over time bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left behind. Once the surgery site is healed you may also be eligible for an implant, a fixed bridge, or denture.

If you have any questions or if you think you may need a tooth removed, we invite you to contact our dental office and we will be happy to assist you. We are here to help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile! 773-478-5520.