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Why I am having my tooth extracted?

When your dentist refers you for an extraction, it is often because the tooth is decaying or broken beyond repair. Removing the diseased tooth can help prevent pain or future damage to surrounding teeth. Dr. Woodmansee is able to provide multiple options regarding your extractions.

Should I have my tooth removed with IV sedation?

Intravenous sedation is also known as conscious, twilight, or IV sedation. It enables you to feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the surgery. Performing the sedation through an IV is the safest and most predicable way to reduce anxiety, awareness, and memory during the procedure. During the sedation, you will technically be “conscious” so the body can maintain natural reflexes like breathing and swallowing. Many patients, however, are so relaxed they drift in and out of sleep (“twilight sleep”) and are frequently unaware of the dental procedure. The intention is to use the least amount of medication possible while ensuring the patient is comfortable. In addition to being affordable and effective, IV sedation is extremely safe, making it an attractive option for many patients. The disadvantages of conscious sedation are the increased cost and need for an escort after the procedure.

Do I need bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a recommended option if you plan to replace an extracted tooth with an implant. After a dental extraction, the bone naturally begins to resorb (melt away). The resulting bone loss can limit your choices for replacing the missing tooth. Grafting at the time of extraction has the highest success with regards to preserving the bone. Grafting can also be completed after extraction, although it often is more difficult to achieve the desired results. After placement of a graft, we allow 3-6 months of healing. During this time, the grafted bone fuses with your existing bone to create an optimal foundation for an implant. Grafting is performed with either your own bone, sterilized bone from another person/animal, or bone substitutes.

Pre-operative instructions for extractions

There are many crucial rules you must follow in order for us to perform the surgery. Please be sure to review all the pre-operative instructions as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Woodmansee or his staff.

Click here to read more or print yourself a copy.

The surgical procedure

To make your surgery day go smoothly please ensure you read the Pre-Operative Instruction information. Your surgery day will consist of Dr. Woodmansee reviewing your medical history, expectations, and post-operative instructions. Patients are usually in the office around 90 minutes. At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with an anesthetic. During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure, but shouldn’t experience discomfort. The pressure is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. For teeth that are severely broken down, a small amount of bone may need to be removed around the tooth. This may be followed by placement of a suture in the area of extraction.

Post-operative instructions for extractions

Please ensure you take the time to review the post-operative instructions below to have the smoothest recovery. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Woodmansee.

Click here to read more or print yourself a copy.

Known risks and complications associated with the surgery

Common risks associated with any surgical procedure include swelling, bruising, pain, and bleeding. In addition to the above risks, the following are uncommon but possible risks associated with dental extractions:

  • Infection: Any infection should be taken seriously and reported to your surgeon, who will appropriately treat the problem. Signs of infection include fever, abnormal swelling and pain, salty or prolonged bad taste and pus formation.
  • Damage to adjacent teeth: Damage to other teeth close to the ones being removed. Often this damage occurs on teeth that have large fillings.
  • Nerve Damage: Numbness, pain, or changed feelings in the teeth, gums, lip, chin and/or tongue (including possible loss of taste). This is because the tooth roots can be very close to these nerves, which means they can be injured or damaged. Usually the numbness or pain goes away, but in some cases, it may need more treatment or may be permanent.
  • Joint Pain: Jaw joint (TMJ) soreness, tenderness, pain, or locking, which can be temporary or permanent.
  • Root Fragments: Sometimes tooth roots may be left in to avoid harming important structures such as nerves or a sinus (a hollow place above your upper back teeth). This rarely presents long-term problems.
  • Sinus Complications: The roots of the upper back teeth are often close to the sinus and sometimes a piece of root can get into the sinus. An opening may occur from the sinus into the mouth that may need more treatment.