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With the advances that have been made in modern dentistry, many teeth that at one time would have needed to be extracted are saved through methods such as fillings, crowns and root canals. However, there are times when a tooth extraction may be required. An extraction may be needed if a tooth is so damaged by trauma or disease that is cannot be saved. Or a tooth may need to come out to mitigate issues with wisdom teeth, to relieve a mouth crowded with too many teeth, or to make space for orthodontic work.

An extraction that does not require surgery is what is called a simple extraction. In the case of a simple extraction, the dentist uses a tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth before removing it with a pair of forceps. When the tooth is out, the dentist may close the socket with a single stitch. After making an appointment for a follow-up examination, you will be sent home to heal. Your dentist may give you a prescription to relieve pain or swelling, or to prevent an infection.

As you recover, you should contact your dentist if you experience persistent pain, swelling, a fever or nausea. You should also call your dentist right away if you develop a case of dry socket. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot which has formed in the socket has been ruptured or removed. The socket is protecting the exposed bone and nerve, and if it is compromised, not only will you be vulnerable to infection, but you will also probably be in a great deal of pain. Your dentist can clean and dress the area to keep it safe.

You can help prevent dry socket by eating cool, soft foods for the first 24 hours after your extraction and by avoiding tobacco use and straws. While you can brush your other teeth, you should gently rinse the extraction area with a saltwater solution or an antibacterial rinse.

If you have noticed a tooth that is starting to give you some trouble, you should contact our office right away. To make an appointment to see Dr. Mark Baker at Premier Dental in St. George, Utah call 435-628-0621 today. We look forward to helping to restore your healthy smile.