Decay can frequently be found below the gum line. In order to gain access to the decay, it is necessary to reduce some of the bone surrounding the area of decay so the gum tissue can be positioned either higher up or lower down on the tooth making access to repair decay feasible. In other circumstances, the tooth may fracture below the gum line. Often the tooth requires a crown (cap) to cover over the fracture line. In order for the crown to fit over the fracture line, it is necessary to raise or lower the gum and reshape the bone accordingly so that the fracture line now becomes visible above the gum. The tooth is now ready for a crown (cap). When smiling, ideally there should be a display of upper teeth and a slight amount of gum displayed as well. In many circumstances there is an excessive amount of gum displayed (this is known as a gummy smile). In order to reduce the gum display so that there can be an ideal amount of tooth and gum showing, it is necessary to move both the gum and bone higher up on the teeth. The bone is gently sculpted to create room for the gum tissue to be ideally positioned. Hence the correct proportions of the teeth and gum are now visible.
When the extraction of a tooth is required:
1) An incision in the gums is made
2) The tooth is removed
3) The area is stitched up and is allowed to heal
During this time, it is important to think about a tooth replacement option. An extracted tooth leaves an open area in the jaw which, in time, allows the neighboring teeth to drift into the area where the tooth was extracted. This in turn, causes a chain reaction to all the surrounding teeth. Also, if you are considering placing an implant in the future, you should consider asking your dentist to place a bone graft at the time of surgery to preserve the bone width and height.
Wisdom teeth under ideal circumstances should grow in straight like any other tooth. However, it is common for wisdom teeth to become impacted inside the jaw or just under the gums. If this occurs, your wisdom teeth should be removed.
1) Horizontal Impaction
2) Angular Impaction
3) Vertical Impaction
4) Soft Tissue Impaction
The problems involving your wisdom teeth may be caused by the size of your jaw and/or by how crowded your teeth are. Common warning symptoms that there is an un-natural problem in the development of your wisdom teeth could be pain and swelling.
Symptoms can be caused by:
1) Infection to the gums
2) A crowded tooth displacing neighboring teeth
3) A decayed wisdom tooth
4) Poorly positioned wisdom tooth
5) A cyst that destroys bone
Removal of wisdom teeth could be done while you are sedated and being carefully monitored.
1) An incision is made in the gums.
2) The overlaying bone is removed to expose the crown of the tooth.
3) The tooth is then extracted as a whole or under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to be removed in pieces. This is generally done for severely impacted wisdom teeth.
4) The area is stitched closed and allowed to heal.
1) DO NOT RINSE MOUTH TODAY
Tomorrow rinse mouth gently every 3 to 4 hours (especially after meals) using one quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Continue rinses for several days.
Following extractions some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over bleeding area and bite down firmly for one-half hour. Repeat if necessary.
Ice bag or chopped ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to the operated area; one-half hour on, and one-half hour off for 4-5 hours.
For mild to average pain use any non-aspirin type of medication you like. If the doctor prescribes a specific pain medication, follow the instructions and do not mix with other medications unless approved by your doctor.
Light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours.
6) BONY EDGES
Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots; if annoying, return to our office for their simple removal.
7) If any unusual symptoms occur, call the office at once.
8) The proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications.
Fold a piece of clean gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on and place directly on the extraction site. Apply moderate pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the pad becomes soaked, replace it with a clean one as necessary. Do not suck on the extraction site (as with a straw). A slight amount of blood may leak at the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, call your dentist. (Remember, though, that a lot of saliva and a little blood can look like a lot of bleeding).
The Blood Clot
After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the tooth socket. This clot is an important part of the normal healing process and therefore activities that might disturb the clot should be avoided. Here's how to protect it:
1. Do not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities create suction in the mouth, which could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
2. Do not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. You should, however, brush and floss your other teeth thoroughly and gently rinse your mouth afterwards.
3. Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form. Get plenty of rest.
4.If you have sutures, your dentist will instruct you when to return to have them removed.
Your dentist may prescribe medication to control pain and prevent infection. Use it only as directed. If the medication prescribed does not seem to work for you, do not increase the dosage. Please call your dentist immediately if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever.
After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling. You can help reduce swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold, moist cloth can be used periodically. Ice should be used only for the first day. Apply heat the following day if needed. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot liquids. Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For about two days, try to chew food on the side opposite the extraction site. If you are troubled by nausea and vomiting call your dentist for advice.
The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water). Rinsing after meals is important to keep food particles away from the extraction site. Do not rinse vigorously!