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Tooth Extractions


Dentists in the past often pulled teeth because there were no other treatment options. As such, extractions were commonplace remedies for any level of decay or infection. Today, however, Dr. Calise will do all he can to help preserve the natural structure of your smile. Extractions, though not as common, are still used as a last resort when no other treatment will solve your problem.

Reasons the Dentist Extracts Teeth

There are several reasons you may need a tooth extraction. A dentist might pull teeth to:

  • Prepare for orthodontia
  • Prevent the spread of infection from an abscess tooth
  • Clear away extra teeth to make room for those coming in
  • Prevent future problems from the poor development of wisdom teeth
  • Clear the field of radiation in patients getting treatment

What to Expect During a Dental Extraction

Before pulling the tooth, the dentist will use local anesthetic to numb the area. If you have a particularly painful tooth, or need more than one tooth removed, the dentist will use a stronger general anesthetic to prevent pain. Then he will remove the tooth. There are two common procedures:

Simple Extraction

Dr. Calise uses this method for teeth that can be seen in the mouth. Using forceps, the dentist will grip your tooth. Then, with gentle rocking motions, he will loosen the tooth and remove it from the ligaments and jawbone. If the tooth proves more difficult, he will use the surgical method.

Surgical Extraction

If you have an impacted tooth (below the gum) then Dr. Calise will make an incision in the soft tissue and cut away the bone covering the tooth. Then he will try the forceps to wiggle it free. If that is unsuccessful, he might have to cut the tooth down and remove it piece by piece.

Post-Extraction Dental Care

After the removal of a tooth, the dentist will give you detailed instructions on what to expect and how to prevent infections. You should take painkillers as prescribed, and do what you can to rest. Immediately after treatment you should bite down on gauze for 20 to 30 minutes to help the blood clot. After doing that, you will still bleed, but it should taper off after 24 hours as long as you do not disturb the clot. You can use ice packs for 20 minutes at a time to soothe pain and reduce swelling. You should also eat soft and cool foods for a couple of days.

A day after treatment you should gently rinse with an antiseptic or saline solution. Do not swish and spit as you normally would, but just move it around your mouth and drip it into the sink. You also should not smoke or use a straw after surgery until the extraction site has healed. Otherwise, you might dislodge the clot and cause dry socket.

When to Call the Dentist after Extractions

It is normal to feel some pain for about 24 hours, and you should expect some swelling too. But if pain and bleeding are still severe after four hours, call Dr. Calise at 310-510-0322. You should also call if you experience signs of infection, vomiting or nausea, excessive discharge from the extraction site, chest pain, or shortness of breath.