Why would I need a tooth extracted?

There are a number of reasons why teeth need to be removed. When a tooth is damaged or decayed, extraction is sometimes necessary. Dentists may pull teeth from a crowded mouth or if wisdom teeth are causing problems with alignment. Periodontal disease or other infections can cause damage to the teeth, which then need to be removed. People with a weakened immune system may need to get teeth extracted, as a weakened immune system can lead to infection.

Preparation

An X-ray will be taken to see how the tooth should be removed. For wisdom teeth, a panoramic X-ray may be needed to see all the teeth at once. Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics for before or after surgery.

Aftercare

The recovery process can take a few days, and there are a few things that should be done to reduce the risk of infection. Limit activity for at least 24 hours after procedure to avoid infection. Do not rinse or drink from a straw for 24 hours to avoid dislodging the clot and starting a dry socket. Eat soft foods and then gradually add solid foods to your diet as the site heals. Continue to brush your teeth but avoid the site in order to help prevent infection. Call your provider if there are any signs of infection, fever, chills, redness, trouble swallowing or uncontrolled bleeding in the area.

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