Tooth Extraction Specialist

Burley Dentistry

Erika V. Burley, DMD

General & Cosmetic Dentist located in Charlotte, NC

At Burley Cosmetic Dentistry, every effort is made to preserve your natural teeth through restorative work. However, there are circumstances where the only treatment path involves a tooth extraction. Dr. Erika Burley takes care to assist you through the process, and to explain all of your options before determining a course of action. If you have one or more teeth that may need to be extracted, schedule an appointment online or call the Charlotte, North Carolina, office today.

Tooth Extraction Q & A

When is a tooth extraction necessary?

Restoring a decayed or damaged tooth is always the preferred approach, but there are times when a tooth must be pulled. Some of the more common reasons for tooth extraction include:

  • Severe decay
  • Extensive damage
  • Tooth crowding
  • Infection not addressed through root canal
  • Compromised immune system that cannot sustain risk of infection
  • Advanced gum disease
  • Impacted wisdom teeth

What happens during tooth extraction?

Having a tooth pulled shouldn’t be a traumatic experience — Dr. Burley explains the process in detail, and you’ll receive numbing medication to ensure that you remain relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure.

If you’re having an impacted tooth removed, Dr. Burley may need to remove a portion of your gum and bone tissue to gain access to the tooth. Once she is able to reach the tooth, a gently rocking motion helps to weaken the connection between your tooth and the ligaments and bone that hold it into position. There are also times when a difficult-to-extract tooth must be broken into pieces before removal.

Once the tooth is out, your body forms a blood clot in the socket, and you will bite down on a gauze pad to slow any bleeding. If needed, a few stitches are placed to close your gum tissue.

What special care needs follow a tooth extraction?

In the first few hours after your tooth extraction, you may need to keep the pressure on the gauze pad and change to a new pad if the bleeding continues. An ice bag can help with any swelling in the area — just alternate 10 minute icing periods.

Try and limit your physical activity for the next 24 hours or so to allow your body to heal. Avoid biting down forcefully, and choose soft foods for a few days.

It’s important to avoid dislodging the blood clot that forms in your tooth socket. Don’t smoke, and avoid using straws for at least 24 hours. You should also take care not to rinse your mouth or spit forcefully during that time period.

Continue your normal oral hygiene habits, avoiding the extraction site. If you experience fever, excessive swelling, nausea, or shortness of breath, contact Dr. Burley immediately.

If you think you may need a tooth extraction, schedule an appointment to find out the best path forward.