There are a variety of reasons why your dentist may recommend that a tooth or teeth be extracted: infection, gum disease, fracture, failed root canals and during the course of braces. Your dentist may have referred you for treatment because the tooth or its roots are:
- Very crooked;
- Close to a nerve that gives you sensation in your face;
- Close to your sinus;
- Impacted or blocked from erupting; or
- very brittle due to a past root canal.
The tooth may need to be removed with limited bone removal to increase the chance of receiving a Dental Implant or may need to be grafted with bone (Site Preservation) to preserve the jaw structure for a future bridge or implant. These conditions increase the difficulty in removing the tooth. Dr. Leslie Heffez uses special techniques to atraumatically remove the teeth. If you are taking certain medications, it may be dangerous to have an extraction. For example, If you are receiving or ever have received an IV form of a bisphosphonate or bone-building medication, Dr. Heffez may not recommend an extraction but alternative procedures.
How is a difficult tooth removed?
The tooth is sectioned using a special drill into multiple pieces and removed like a puzzle. The tooth fragments are removed via the small opening of the tooth socket to minimize pain and discomfort.
Will I need to be on medication afterwards?
Frequently, an antibiotic is prescribed as well as an anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Lodine are examples) and a strong pain medication (Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol with codeine are examples). The anti-inflammatory medication is taken around the clock to keep the pain level to minimal. It is unusual for you to use the strong pain medication that is prescribed. However, all three medications may be taken at one time.
Will I swell after surgery?
Swelling and bruising should be minimal. However, it all depends on the difficulty of your procedure. Dr. Heffez will be able to say better after the consultation.
Can I go to work the next day?
You should be able to go to work the next day. However, depending on your response to surgery you may need to take 1-3 days off.
I had a root canal. Why is my tooth hurting?
A root canal removes the nerve and blood vessels to the inside of the tooth, the major cause for dental pain. But the tooth can hurt because of problems that develop around and at the bottom of the tooth. An abscess at the bottom of the tooth creates pressure in the bone. This can cause the tooth to be pushed upward. You may feel that you are biting on that tooth before all others. A root canal tooth is more susceptible to fracture. You can also develop gum disease and an abscess. All these problems can occur and cause you pain, even if you already had a root canal.
If I have any problems how do I reach the office?
You will be provided the patient cell number of Dr. Heffez in case you need to reach him after hours.