Tooth Extractions or Tooth Removal
- Long Island City, NY.
When do you need a tooth extraction? Is your tooth currently hurting or does it have an infection? Maybe you have some swelling around the tooth and gums as well. If you're not sure, be sure to consult one of our dentists in long island city.
What are tooth extractions?
A tooth extraction is when we completely remove the entire tooth from the mouth. Once the tooth is removed, it will be gone forever.
After the extraction, there will be a space there which you should think about replacing with either dental implants or a tooth bridge, both are "fixed" replacements meaning that they stay in the mouth and do not come out. They get glued in or screwed in permanently.
Although the most common reason for people to have a tooth removed is actually because of their wisdom teeth. We assume that most people are usually good enough about not eating too much sugar so the first experience that most people have would be their wisdom teeth hurting them right around when they enter college.
How do I know that I need a tooth extracted?
A tooth needing an extraction will typically be causing you some sort of tooth pain. This toothache may be accompanied by an abscess that may or may not have swelling. Dental abscesses may not always swell up! Tooth infections can be quirky in that they may not always cause pain either. But, for the unfortunate ones sometimes they may experience a throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes.
Although the defining factor for needing an extraction is when the tooth cavity has grown so big that it can no longer be saved. You may notice that the tooth has a large hole in it and it may look cracked.
Typically the prognosis for saving a tooth starts to drastically decrease if it is missing more than half of the tooth.
Both teeth are cracked below the gum line. No longer saveable and they will need to be extracted.
How painful is it to remove a tooth?
Believe it or not for most cases, removing a tooth shouldn't really be painful at all! You will be adequately numb for the procedure with some novocaine or lidocaine.
Once you are nice and numb, you should not feel anything sharp at all. Although you may still feel pressure during the extraction which is normal. You will feel a lot of pressing around but definitely no headlocks. Those are only for movies where the dentist has his knee on your chest trying to yank the tooth out!
Nonetheless, there are rare cases where the procedure can be painful... If your tooth is very infected and you have a lot of swelling on your face, it may not be as pleasant of a visit.
Just to be clear, the additional pain isn't actually coming from removing the tooth but rather the swelling that is causing you pain so don't let it get to that point.
An analogy would be if you were trying to get onto a packed train. You are trying your best to squeeze your way on but it is so full that it is difficult. If you get in you'll feel like a sardine but there is a good chance you may need to wait for the next train.
The same thing happens when there is too much swelling or the infection from your tooth is so much that it makes it difficult for you to get numb. The novocaine literally does not have any space to get to the tooth!
In cases like those where your tooth is so infected that you can't get numb, you may need to take some antibiotics for at least 1-2 days before you come back in so that we can try again. We need the antibiotics to clear away some of the infection so that the novocaine can do its job.
How long does it take for the gums to heal after the extraction?
After the tooth is removed, you should be fully functional and ready to hit the gym the next day! You should stay away from any heavy exercising on the day of. If you're still bleeding from your mouth, you don't want to do anything that will get your heart pumping because then you'll just be bleeding more.
On average it does take about four to eight weeks for the gums to completely close, that is what our long island city dentists have observed. Meaning the hole where the tooth was will disappear within that time. You will notice the extraction socket slowly closing with each week that passes by.
Please be aware that it takes the bone underneath the gums to fully heal after three to four months. Even though the gums may look closed, the bone heals at a slower pace. That's just how nature works.
This is also the reason why you have to wait about four months before you can get an implant because you can't plant an implant into an empty hole. Its like trying to drill a screw into drywall that already has a huge hole. It doesn't work as well as a fresh drywall with no holes!
Severe periodontitis: So much bone loss that some of the teeth aren't even held in by bone anymore!
Exceptions: Alternative scenarios where a tooth needs to be removed
A tooth may be cavity free and still require an extraction if there is severe periodontal disease, namely severe periodontitis.
Periodontitis may cause so much bone loss around the tooth that they start to get loose. When they get so loose that they start to wiggle when you eat and talk, they will need to be extracted. Once you lose bone it doesn't grow back.
Rather than a tooth infection, this is a gum infection.
What does your Long Island City office offer?
Our dentists at our LIC office do offer extractions on the premise. We also do wisdom teeth extractions as well but only if they are not impacted. They need to be fully erupted where you can see the whole tooth.
If your wisdom is impacted, it means that it is still stuck in the bone. How you can tell if your tooth is impacted or not is if you can see it.
If you can't see it at all, it means that your wisdom tooth is fully impacted.
If you can see part of the tooth, it means that the molar is partially impacted.
Either of the above two scenarios will require a referral to the specialist. You may still need to come in to see one of our dentists at our LIC office to get a referral because some specialists will not see you without one! Also, if you happen to be swollen you may need some antibiotics to get the infection under control. Sometimes you can't get numb if the infection is too big.
The specialist that we will be referring you to would be the oral surgeon who specializes in removing wisdom teeth. They also have the option for sedation as well if you need it. If you are terrified, we would highly recommend that you do it while sedated. If you do get sedated, you might as well do all four of them at the same time so you don't have to come back for round two or three!
The answer is that it depends on how bad the infection was. Typically if your face was swollen or there was a lot of gum swelling, you will definitely need antibiotics. Yes, the source of the infection will be gone once the tooth is out but we still need to clear out the surrounding infection. Taking the antibiotics will speed up the healing process in this scenario.
For routine extractions where there is no swelling present, it is typically unlikely for you to need antibiotics. We are trying to do our best to minimize the amount of antibiotics being prescribed so that we don't end up with a community of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
What does a tooth extraction cost?
Typically your dental insurance such as metlife will cover about 80% of the procedure on average! You will be responsible for the 20% and also the deductible if there is one. What the exact fee of the procedure is would depend on what your insurance contract says.
What is a dry socket? Also known as Alveolar osteitis.
A dry socket is a painful condition that may happen after an extraction. It is inflammation of the bone where the socket is. The chances of it occurring increases depending on how impacted the tooth is. This means that wisdom teeth have a higher chance of having it. Smoking after the extraction will also increase the chances of it! Typically these are the statistics:
For routine extractions 0.5-5%
Impacted wisdom teeth 25-30%
I lost my my sheet on what to do after an extraction right after I left your office, where do I find it?
My Face still feels numb even though it has been more than a day since I had my tooth removed.
You may have prolonged numbess from the wisdom tooth extraction.