At Newtown Dentistry, the first thing children see is a warm, fun, and inviting environment. We are a long-standing staple in Bucks County, serving as a trusted source for a variety of dental services—including extractions. In our dental home, we make the tooth extraction procedure as smooth and comfortable as possible for kids. For adults in need of a tooth extraction, we typically refer to an oral surgeon. The doctors will guide you to the best course of action depending on the circumstances.
What is Tooth Extraction?
Although having a tooth removed doesn’t sound like a walk in the park, it’s really not as scary as it can be made out to be. In fact, tooth extractions are actually the single most common surgical procedure in the United States! A tooth extraction is when a dentist surgically removes teeth to preserve the health of the patient, typically a child. This can happen for many reasons.
The most common times when a patient goes through a tooth removal process is when:
A tooth is decayed
A tooth has experienced trauma
A tooth is causing crowding in the mouth
A dentist may also recommend extraction when a child gets braces to provide room for other teeth to shift into the correct place. In some cases, patients undergoing cancer treatment or a major surgery may need tooth extraction as well to preserve oral and overall health.
For young children, extracted teeth can be left alone, as new ones will grow in. For adults, unless they are removing teeth to reduce crowding or getting a molar removal procedure, they will likely need a bridge or a dental implant as well.
How the Tooth Extraction Procedure Works
Having a tooth removed does not have to be scary. Our team specializes in making kids feel safe and at ease. Part of inviting our dental family members to feel relaxed is helping them understand what happens during their procedure.
Prior to the extraction, the dentist will meet with you to plan the procedure. This will include taking an X-ray of your child’s tooth to judge the best approach. The dentist will also ask about any medications, over-the-counter drugs, or supplements your child takes. You will also be asked about any medical conditions your child has, as such conditions may put them at greater risk during the procedure.
Once that information is collected, appropriate accommodations can be made, and the appointment can be scheduled. Still, even with explanation beforehand, patients with special needs may have difficulty with stress and fear. That’s why Newtown Dentistry staff is specially trained to help special needs patients, allowing them to receive quality dental care in a safe, supportive environment.
Once screening and planning is done, the appointment can be scheduled. During a simple extraction, we:
Numb the area surrounding the extraction site (with the aid of a local anesthetic)
Administer nitrous oxide (laughing or giggle gas) if needed
Remove the tooth
Pack the tooth extraction area with gauze to help limit bleeding (this also helps to form a blood clot)
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
The tooth removal process is very quick and easy, but it is still a surgical procedure. Following a tooth extraction, it is also likely your child will experience some swelling, discomfort, or pain. This should go away quickly, but there are a few steps you can take to improve comfort directly following the tooth extraction for your child. These include:
Applying an ice pack to their cheek
Do this through a towel, and for no more than 10 minutes at a time.
Making sure they take any medication prescribed, such as over-the-counter painkillers and antibiotics
Even if pain goes away, have them take the medication as long as recommended
Propping their head with pillows when lying down or sleeping
Just relaxing! Take a day off to recover from the procedure.
Additionally, to help ensure an optimum healing process after a tooth extraction, it’s important to follow a few simple steps. Your dentist will advise your child to:
Abstain from rinsing the mouth vigorously
Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 hours
Eat nutritious, soft foods and drink plenty of water
Stay away from any activities or behaviors that may interrupt the recovery process
Brush and floss as normal, but avoid the extraction site
What to Watch Out for After a Tooth Extraction
Our board-certified staff members are experts in tooth extraction, and have conducted hundreds of procedures. Still, there are risks following any surgery. Generally, following the dentist’s instructions, taking over-the-counter painkillers, and finishing the course of antibiotics will ensure a swift, complication-free recovery. However, contact your doctor if your child experiences any of the following symptoms in the days following their procedure:
Bleeding for longer than 12 hours
Extended swelling or redness at the extraction site
Sever fever or chills, which indicate an infection
A new cough
Nausea or vomiting
Chest pain or shortness of breath
Make Newtown Dentistry Your Dental Home!
Still have questions about the tooth extraction procedure? We’re happy to answer them! If you would like to speak with us about extractions, schedule your appointment now. Or, call us any time at (215) 706-8734.