While our focus at Premier Dental Care is on preventative and restorative care, we also perform tooth extractions when saving the tooth isn’t possible. Before we make that decision, however, we are always looking for ways to avoid an extraction by keeping your oral health in good shape. This means that we will clean your teeth on a regular basis, discuss and encourage a healthy diet, and treat gum disease, cavities, and infections as they arise in order to keep your teeth healthy and intact. Dr. Hines will also restore your tooth if it has been damaged – all of which can help you to maintain your natural teeth for years to come.

If you are experiencing discomfort or your tooth is in need of repair, we invite you to call our 20012 dental office at (202) 723-2400 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be honest about whether your tooth can be saved or if an extraction is the best option for preventing the spread of infection and eliminating your discomfort, and we’ll take the steps necessary to ensure your comfort with whatever solution you choose.

The Process of Having a Tooth Extraction

The technical term for having a tooth pulled is called an extraction, and there are several ways to do it. First, we will numb the area of your mouth so that you do not feel any direct discomfort. (You will feel pressure during the procedure, but otherwise remain relaxed and comfortable.) If your tooth has matured and broken through the gums, Dr. Hines can use dental tools to wiggle the tooth loose and pull it out of the socket. Afterwards, the area will be thoroughly cleaned, and gauze will be used to stop the bleeding while you recover. If, however, your tooth is impacted or still below the surface — this is common with wisdom teeth — oral surgery may be necessary for removing it. When completing this procedure in our Washington dental office, we typically create an incision in the gums and create a flap that we can lift to gain access to the impacted tooth. In many cases, we can then wiggle the tooth and lift it out of the socket. If there is bone or tissue on top of the tooth, however, it will need to be cut away first. And if the tooth is particularly stubborn and not budging, we might need to break it into several pieces and remove it that way. Once the tooth has been removed from the socket, the area will be thoroughly cleaned before the flap is placed back down and sutured in place. Gauze is then used to stop the bleeding.

Check out what others are saying about our tooth extraction services on Yelp: Tooth Extraction Washington

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How to Care For Your Mouth After a Tooth Extraction

At Premier Dental Care, we perform a tooth extraction in the least invasive manner possible so that the recovery time is shortened. For in-office extractions, most of our patients will spend about an hour recovering while we make sure that the bleeding has sufficiently slowed down and any anesthesia is wearing off. We typically recommend having someone pick you up after having a tooth extraction.

At home, be sure to rest (taking a nap is highly recommended.) Drink plenty of water but avoid anything that is too hot or too cold as it could lead to sensitivity for the first couple of days. We also recommend that you don’t use a straw for the first few days because the suction could cause the affected area to start bleeding. Recovery times will depend on the procedure, but generally speaking, the swelling will go down after a few days, especially if you take ibuprofen and use an ice pack or cold compress on the site in 15-minute increments.

During your recovery, try and stick to foods that are high in nutrition but soft, like a smoothie containing vegetables, fruit, yogurt, and protein powder. (It’s also a great way to keep your nutrition levels up without needing to bite down on anything.) As you add foods back into your diet, be sure to start with options that are soft, like noodles or mashed potatoes, and gradually work your way up to a full, solid diet.

Finally, it’s extremely important to keep your mouth as clean as possible after a tooth extraction. Brush your surrounding teeth like normal while carefully avoiding the surgical site, and rinse with water and baking soda or an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection. Dr. Hines may want to see you for a follow-up appointment as well.

Signs That You Might Need a Tooth Extraction

If it hurts when you bite down or chew, this can be an indication of a cavity or infection. If you feel intense discomfort in your tooth or your jaw, give us a call since this could be a sign of a dental abscess or severe infection. If you have other, more severe symptoms like pus or bleeding, call (202) 600-4406 and schedule an appointment with our family dentistry office right away. At Premier Dental Care, we practice preventative care and can help in an emergency situation.

What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you still have your wisdom teeth, you may need to have them removed. At Premier Dental Care, we can use an examination and x-rays to determine whether or not you should keep your wisdom teeth. While many people do end up having their wisdom teeth removed, especially if they’ve worn braces and don’t want their wisdom teeth to negate that work, it’s not a requirement for everyone. It depends on how much room you have in your mouth and whether the teeth are growing straight, or impacted.

The process of removing wisdom teeth is roughly the same as any other tooth with the exception of when and why we perform the procedure. We typically recommend wisdom teeth removal during the teenage years, while general extractions are more common as people age and have teeth succumb to severe infection or significant damage. To find out whether or not you should keep your wisdom teeth, call (202) 723-2400 to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Hines.

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