Tooth Extractions

Dr. Matthew Yuen always strives to preserve and restore the natural structure of your teeth. However, extensive disease, decay, or trauma may lead to a medically necessary tooth extraction.

Why do I need a tooth extraction?

In most cases, a tooth extraction is used only as a last resort if other restorative dental procedures are unsuccessful. Common reasons why you might need a tooth pulled include:

  • Extensive dental decay
  • A failed root canal
  • Cracked or fractured tooth
  • An antibiotic-resistant infection
  • Risk of an infection spreading to the bloodstream (sepsis)
  • Dental damage beyond repair
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Impacted wisdom teeth

At Castro Valley Dental Home, our team prioritizes your health. Therefore, we will only recommend a tooth extraction if we have exhausted all other options. For some patients, tooth removal may be the best solution to improve their quality of life and save their oral health.

At your Castro Valley Dental Home, we will also discuss the ways we can replace the tooth before moving forward. Dental implants, bridges, or dentures, may be good options for replacing the missing tooth and we will be sure to discuss the benefits of each of them as we figure out the best choice for you moving forward to restore your smile!

Do I need to tell my dentist anything before my extraction?

In general, tooth extractions are very safe. However, there are some cases in which a patient should disclose past medical history to our dental team to ensure patient safety. For example, our dentists need to know if you have:

  • Heart damage, a congenital heart defect, or heart valve replacement
  • A suppressed or impaired immune system
  • Cirrhosis–also known as liver disease
  • Any artificial joints (e.g. hip, knee, or shoulder replacements)
  • A history of bacterial endocarditis

If you have any of these conditions, please let our dental team know immediately. Knowing this information will help us mitigate complications, ensuring a safe and successful extraction.

What can I expect from the tooth removal process?

While it may be scary to hear that you need a tooth pulled, our compassionate dental team uses gentle techniques, modern technology, and anxiety-reducing sedatives. This ensures that our patients experience a pain-free extraction with minimal risk of complications.

The first step in the removal process is to tell Dr. Yuen if you’ll require anxiety-reducing sedatives, such as oral sedatives. If so, our dentists will write you a prescription for an oral sedative that you must pick up at a pharmacy of your choosing and take before your appointment.

Next, Dr. Yuen will administer a local anesthesia to numb the extraction site. Once you are relaxed and sufficiently numb, our dentists will skillfully remove the damaged tooth. Teeth extractions can be completed very quickly and painlessly.

After your tooth has been removed, our dentists will either pack the extraction site with gauze or close the wound with a few, small stitches. At this point, our dental team will monitor you to ensure that the sedatives are wearing off before letting a friend or family member drive you home.

How do I care for my extraction site?

Proper aftercare is extremely important following an extraction. To reduce the risk of infection and improve recovery:

  • Take the recommended medication if needed
  • Limit their activity for 24-72 hours after their extraction
  • If the wound was packed with gauze, carefully change the pad every 30 minutes
  • Avoid creating a vacuum in their mouth by sucking, spitting, swishing
  • Do not drink through a straw for at least 24 hours after the procedure
  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco products while the wound is healing
  • Eat soft foods for a few days after the procedure
  • Sleep with their heads propped up to prevent prolonged bleeding
  • Gently apply an ice pack to the side of the face for ten minutes at a time to reduce swelling
  • Continue to gently brush and floss teeth

Once the wound is fully healed, patients have a wide variety of tooth-replacement options to choose from, such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. It is essential to replace a missing tooth to prevent damage to other teeth from biting forces/uneven pressure, avoid tilting or shifting of remaining teeth into the gap.

Scheduling a Tooth Extraction

If a tooth is causing you extreme pain and putting your oral and overall health in jeopardy, then a tooth extraction may be necessary. Fortunately, Dr. Yuen has had extensive training and experience to expertly perform harmless tooth extractions quickly with minimal discomfort to patients. So, don’t wait–schedule your procedure now by calling us at 510-886-3888.

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