Your permanent teeth should last a lifetime. However, a tooth extraction could be the only option if you have a severely damaged tooth due to decay or trauma. If a severe infection has caused tooth damage, your dentist can recommend an emergency tooth extraction. An emergency tooth extraction can be necessary for several reasons. The typical reasons include decay, accidents, abscesses around the root, infection, and trauma. If you need an emergency tooth extraction in Carson, contact Washington Dental. Our dentists will be there for you when you need them the most.
Emergency Tooth Extraction Explained
Tooth extraction is usually the last resort. A dentist will do everything to save your tooth before recommending a tooth extraction. However, sometimes your teeth could be too damaged to be salvaged. Some of the common reasons why your dentist can recommend emergency tooth extraction are:
Fractured Tooth Under the Gums
When you chew food, your teeth absorb a lot of impact. If the teeth do not fit well together as you bite, your lower molars could crack due to the force of chewing. You are at a higher risk of fractured teeth if you have large fillings or recently underwent a root canal treatment. If you have a fractured tooth below the gumline, you must undergo an emergency tooth extraction.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth erupt in the late teens or early twenties. They are also known as the third molars. Most people have room for wisdom teeth, but some cannot keep them due to a lack of space in the mouth. Without room, wisdom teeth can be stuck beneath the gums. They could also push other teeth out of the way.
The most common sign that you have impacted wisdom teeth is excruciating pain. Impacted wisdom teeth could compromise your overall health. Therefore, in most cases, your dentist will recommend emergency tooth removal. The typical way of diagnosing impacted wisdom teeth is by using imaging techniques like X-rays. An x-ray will reveal the impacted wisdom teeth below your gum line.
In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth do not present any symptoms. However, impacted teeth are more prone to gum disease, infections, and decay. The main reason for emergency tooth extraction when you have impacted teeth, is to prevent the teeth from damaging neighboring teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth extraction lowers the risk of overcrowding and infection in the gums.
Severe Tooth Decay
The leading causes of tooth decay are plaque and tartar accumulation. Tooth extraction is unnecessary if there is a greater portion of healthy tooth structure than damaged or decayed structure. However, sometimes tooth decay can extend beyond what can be treated. A severely damaged tooth cannot be treated using dental fillings, crowns, or root canal treatment. If you have a severely damaged tooth that is infected or causes immense pain, your dentist can recommend an emergency tooth extraction.
You could have more teeth than your jaw can accommodate. Your dentist can recommend a tooth extraction to prevent overcrowding. For example, you can have a tooth extracted during orthodontic treatment to achieve a straight smile. Most dentists recommend orthodontics before removing the extra teeth. However, if you have crowded teeth that cause discomfort, your dentist can recommend an emergency tooth extraction.
If crowded teeth are not treated or removed, jaw damage or gum infection can occur. You could also end up with crooked teeth since the extra teeth will create space by pushing the neighboring teeth out of alignment. Misaligned teeth will present you with additional issues. It is best to have crowded teeth extracted to ensure effective results.
Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, is reversible. Your dentist can reverse gingivitis with good oral hygiene and routine dental cleanings. However, the situation is different if you have gum disease or periodontitis. A significant percentage of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontitis. Gum disease attacks your gums and other structures that support your teeth. People with periodontitis have receding gums. When your gums recede enough, your teeth will have little support and could fall out. Your dentist could also recommend having a tooth extracted if you have severely receded gums. There is no cure for periodontitis. However, your dentist can use procedures like root planing and scaling to slow the progression of periodontitis.
Dental extraction is the most viable treatment when gum disease affects the periodontal ligaments and the alveolar bone. An extraction controls the damage and helps you begin the recovery process.
You can prevent the development of periodontal disease through regular brushing and flossing. When you do this, you can ensure no plaque builds up around your teeth or gums. An emergency dentist will prevent the progression of the damage by extracting the infected tooth.
How to Determine Whether You Have a Dental Emergency
Not every dental issue is an emergency, even if you experience pain or discomfort. Some problems do not require an emergency tooth extraction. However, you should not assume everything is okay when you have a dental problem. It is crucial to know how to identify a dental emergency.
Here are some common indicators of a dental emergency:
- You experience persistent bleeding that will not stop.
- You have an extraordinarily loose or knocked-out permanent tooth.
- Your jaw is injured, or you have swelling in the jaw area.
- A severe toothache.
If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms outlined above, you should contact your dentist immediately. You must act fast, mainly if you have been injured or involved in an accident.
Types Of Emergency Tooth Extraction
The suitable type of tooth extraction will depend on the condition of your teeth and the tooth's shape, location, and size. The standard tooth extraction methods are simple and surgical.
Your dentist will likely use local anesthesia when executing a simple tooth extraction. Simple tooth extraction is used for easy-to-access teeth. The dentist does not employ invasive tooth extraction procedures in a simple extraction. Dentists do not access the area beneath your gum line in most simple extractions.
A surgical dental extraction is more intricate and invasive than a simple one. Surgical tooth extraction can involve cutting the gum tissue, cutting the tooth into pieces, or drilling the tooth out of your jawbone. If your tooth has an abscess, your dentist can first cut and drain the abscess before extracting the tooth.
The ideal type of extraction will depend on the position of the tooth and its location in the mouth. The dentist can perform a simple extraction if the tooth has erupted in the mouth and the entire crown is visible. However, in cases like impacted wisdom teeth, surgical removal is ideal. Surgical removal is also suitable if the tooth lies at an angle to the other teeth or part of the crown is still beneath the gum.
Your Overall Health Determine The Type of Extraction
Your overall health will also play a role in the appropriate tooth extraction method, mainly in the case of a dental emergency. Patients with certain heart conditions will require antibiotic therapy before the surgical tooth extraction. If you are on blood thinner medication, your dentist can instruct you to stop taking the medication a few weeks before dental surgery. Dentists must take extra precautions when dealing with diabetic patients. Diabetes affects the healing speed after surgery. Dentists must also be careful with patients with blood clotting issues to ensure they do not develop complications after treatment.
The position of the tooth, your overall health, and the reason you need tooth extraction are all crucial factors that your doctor must consider when choosing the extraction method. Another essential consideration is whether the tooth being removed is a wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth tend to be more complicated to extract.
Whether An Emergency Tooth Extraction Is Expensive
Visiting the emergency dentist is an expensive procedure. You should find out beforehand whether your dental insurance plan will cover the treatment. A simple tooth extraction ranges from $130 to $250 on average. Surgical extraction, which requires the dentist to remove the gum tissue, can cost between $250 and $370.
Wisdom teeth are more expensive to extract because they are usually impacted and prone to dental abscesses and infection. The extraction cost of an impacted wisdom tooth depends on the complexity of the extraction process. The average extraction cost ranges between $300 and $500.
The fees outlined above only cover the tooth extraction. They do not include additional costs like x-rays, anesthesia, and lab tests. The additional fees necessary for the patient's comfort and proper diagnosis can cost as much as the extraction.
Paying For an Emergency Tooth Extraction
Given the high cost of emergency tooth extraction and the related fees, you might wonder how to pay for the procedure. Having dental insurance is the best way to deal with the hefty costs associated with an emergency tooth extraction. If your dental insurance plan does not cover tooth extraction, you can explore the following options:
Obtaining Private Insurance
You can buy dental insurance from a private company, like a private health insurance policy. Private dental insurance will pay the dentist directly when he/she submits a claim for your services. You will only pay the deductibles and copays to the dentist and the monthly insurance premiums to the insurance company.
A Financing Plan
Many dental clinics allow their patients to pay using credit cards. Others have in-house payment plans. You can request that your dentist allow you to pay your bill over several months instead of all at once. Most dentists will be willing to work out a suitable repayment plan that suits your unique financial situation.
You could be eligible for health coverage under Medicaid. However, your income must be low enough to meet the state's criteria. According to Medicaid guidelines, states must provide dental care for children. However, these guidelines do not apply to adults. You must determine whether Medicaid can cover your emergency tooth extraction costs at the relevant offices.
What To Expect During An Emergency Tooth Extraction
In most cases, an emergency tooth extraction is a quick and painless process that only requires local anesthesia at the extraction site to prevent discomfort. In severe situations, your dentist can use general anesthesia so that you can sleep through the process. You will likely be under general anesthesia if you have several wisdom teeth removed. In the case of a single tooth extraction, your dentist will probably use local anesthesia. However, the dentist can administer sedation if you are upset, nervous, or struggling with the extraction. Sedation sends you into a state of relaxation without sleeping.
The dentist will lose the tooth before pulling it out of the socket. After administering sedation, the dentist removes any tissues or gums covering the tooth to be extracted. If the tooth is challenging to extract, your dentist can break it into pieces to remove it in bits.
After tooth removal, a blood clot develops inside the socket. Your dentist can place gauze at the extraction site to stop the bleeding. You should replace the gauze if it becomes saturated. If the gum edges are exposed at the edges, the dentist can use self-dissolving stitches to close the extraction site. You should expect your gums to be sore for several days after tooth extraction.
The dentist will ask about your dental and health history before tooth extraction. Inform the dentist if you have any health conditions or allergies or have undergone a recent medical procedure. You should also disclose if you take medications like inhalers, contraceptives, or over-the-counter medicines.
You should inform the dentist if you have any of the following:
- Liver or thyroid disease.
- Artificial joints.
- Impaired immune system.
Here are some additional considerations:
- You should avoid smoking before or after the emergency tooth extraction.
- If you are currently receiving any type of sedation, you should not drive yourself home after the procedure.
- If you experience nausea or vomiting, you should inform your dentist to determine whether to reschedule the extraction.
- Inform your dentist if you have the flu before the extraction.
How Long Does An Emergency Dental Extraction Take?
How long an emergency dental extraction takes will depend on several factors:
- Whether you are having one or several teeth extracted,
- The position or location of the tooth being extracted.
After the tooth extraction, your dentist will give you guidelines to help speed the healing process:
- Bite down on gauze the first thirty minutes after the surgery to stop the bleeding.
- If the bleeding persists, bite down on a cotton pad for ten to fifteen minutes. If the bleeding continues, contact your dentist.
- Rinse your mouth with warm, salty water 24 hours after the tooth extraction to keep the site clean and sterile.
- To help alleviate swelling and discomfort, apply an ice pack to your cheeks above the extraction site.
- Ensure that you do not smoke for 72 hours following the extraction. Smoking can lead to the premature loss of blood clots, a condition known as a dry socket. A dry socket can interrupt the healing process.
- Whenever you lie down, ensure that you elevate your head with a pillow.
- Only eat soft foods like yogurt, pudding, and ice cream for the first couple of days following the extraction.
- For several days following the tooth extraction, ensure that you do not engage in strenuous activities.
- Avoid rinsing, spitting, or using a straw for the first twenty-four hours following the procedure to allow a blood clot to form.
If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth following an extraction, you should ask your dentist before leaving the clinic.
How Long Does The Pain At The Extraction Site Last?
Most tooth extractions heal within 7 to 10 days. Complications are rare. However, you should watch out for signs of infection and contact your dentist if you notice them. There is no specific cause of infection after a tooth extraction, but poor oral hygiene is the leading cause. You could be at risk if you do not observe proper hygiene after an extraction. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and avoid applying intense pressure when brushing. Brush in slow, circular motions as opposed to aggressive brushing.
Signs Of Infection
In most cases, signs of infection will manifest several days after the tooth extraction. You can start noticing signs of infection one or two days after the extraction. On rare occasions, the extraction site could take three to four weeks after surgery to become infected.
The common signs of infection after a tooth extraction are:
- A bad breath that does not fade even when you brush your teeth.
- Fever above 101.
- A bitter taste in your mouth that does not end even when you rinse with salty water.
- Swollen gums.
- Sensitivity to changes in temperatures.
- Swollen glands on the neck.
- Persistent pain that does not respond to the prescribed painkillers.
- Pain and pus formation at the tooth extraction site.
- Radiating pain down your jawline.
- Swelling of your jaw.
If you undergo a surgical emergency tooth extraction, the signs of infection can differ:
- Loss of feeling or persistent numbness at the surgical site.
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Ooze or pus coming out of the surgical site.
- Pus or blood in your nasal discharge.
How You Can Avoid An Emergency Tooth Extraction
Paying for an emergency tooth extraction can impose a hefty medical burden. Like most dental procedures, an emergency tooth extraction is not fun since it can cause pain and discomfort. You can avoid an emergency tooth extraction by avoiding tooth decay, infections, accidents, and abscesses. This is only possible if you practice proper dental hygiene.
Ensure that you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing daily. Use fluoride toothpaste and a mouth rinse whenever you brush. Proper oral health practice is one of the most crucial habits you can include in your daily routine. When you use toothpaste and mouthwash, you give your teeth an extra shield against dental issues.
You should visit the dentist regularly, even for seemingly minor dental problems. Addressing dental issues ensures that they do not turn into dental emergencies. You should also avoid accidents, which are the leading cause of fractured and broken teeth.
You should also watch what you eat or drink. The leading cause of plaque and tartar accumulation is consuming certain sugary foods and carbohydrates. If the plaque remains in your mouth, harmful bacteria will feed on it and produce acids that will damage the tooth enamel. Plaque accumulation will eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The next thing you know, you will undergo an emergency tooth extraction.
You should also identify healthy ways of dealing with stress. Most people know that stress can negatively impact their oral health. However, most people do not know that stress could also adversely affect their oral health. When stressed, you can chew on your nails or other items, like pencils. You can also grind or clench your teeth at night.
Whether To Remove A Damaged Or Infected Tooth
If your dentist recommends a tooth extraction, it is because the tooth cannot be saved. Many patients are concerned about experiencing pain or discomfort during a tooth extraction. However, the misery of staying with a decayed or infected tooth is worse and more prolonged. Even if you avoid tooth extraction, the damaged or infected tooth will still fall out after some time. The discomfort of the damaged tooth could worsen or even become inevitable. Therefore, you should not refuse an emergency tooth extraction if your dentist recommends it.
Find Reliable Emergency Tooth Extraction Services Near Me
If saving your tooth is no longer possible, you should have it professionally extracted or removed. Your dentist will likely recommend an extraction when a tooth is broken or severely decayed. If your mouth does not have enough space for wisdom teeth, an emergency tooth extraction can be necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth. While many patients tense before tooth extraction, the procedure is painless. Your doctor will administer anesthesia or sedation before the extraction. If you need reliable tooth extraction services in Carson, our dentists at Washington Dental can help. Contact us at 310-217-1507 to speak to one of our dentists.