About Tooth Extractions
When a tooth is damaged or failing beyond the point of repair with other methods (tooth-colored filling or crown), tooth extraction may need to be performed. At Southern Cal Smiles in Woodland Hills, CA, board-certified dentist Dr. Susan Fredericks performs both simple and surgical tooth extractions. A simple extraction removes a visible tooth that may be cracked, infected, or have another problem. A surgical extraction removes a tooth (or teeth) that has not erupted from the gum line but needs to be removed because there isn’t enough room — like wisdom teeth. With advanced equipment and years of experience, Dr. Fredericks and her team work hard to make sure each patient has a comfortable experience during their tooth extraction. With local anesthesia and nitrous oxide sedation, Southern Cal Smiles patients can sit back and relax as they get a healthier smile.
What to Expect
For a simple extraction, a local anesthetic is usually given to numb the gum before Dr. Fredericks loosens and removes the full tooth from the jawbone. Dr. Fredericks will carefully separate the tooth from the gum tissue and ligaments before the socket is cleaned and closed. For a surgical extraction, you may be given local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. To remove the tooth, Dr. Fredericks must surgically cut through the gums and bone. In some cases, the tooth will be cut into pieces for easier extraction. Once the tooth is removed, the socket will be cleaned and stitched closed.
A blood clot will usually form in the socket of the removed tooth after an extraction, which should be kept clean and monitored for signs of infection. Dr. Fredericks may suggest over-the-counter pain medication for any discomfort after the procedure or you may be prescribed painkillers. You may want to follow a soft food or liquid diet for at least one day after the extraction. You should be careful brushing your teeth to help the socket heal. The gums and bone usually begin to heal 1 – 2 weeks after the extraction, but it may be up to six months before the mouth is fully healed.
If the extraction is a medical necessity, part or most of the cost will usually be covered by dental insurance. The coverage may vary based on whether it is a simple or surgical extraction, so our office will confirm your benefits and out-of-pocket cost. Our practice offers financing plans and we accept several payment options.