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Sometimes tooth extractions are necessary to make room for other teeth in a crowded mouth, or if decay has damaged a tooth so severely, it is unable to be restored.

If a tooth has extensive decay or is broken or cracked, it may need to be removed.  It is important to fill the space left by the extracted tooth to protect, as well as prevent any shifting of, the remaining teeth.  This can be accomplished by using a dental implant or bridge.

Some teeth may need to be extracted because they are impacted or malpositioned.  Wisdom teeth are a prime culprit for causing a shift in the alignment of the teeth, as well as overcrowding in the mouth.  Wisdom teeth can be painful as they shift to the surface, or they may become impacted, or trapped either partially or fully under the gums.

In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may lead to serious problems in the nerves and the jawbone.  If there isn’t enough room in your mouth for wisdom teeth, or if impacted wisdom teeth are causing other problems in the mouth, it is typically advised to have them removed.

Post-op care is especially important after tooth extraction.  Patients should not attempt to eat or chew for at least two hours.  Within the first 24 hours following the extraction, a blood clot will form on the site.  Avoid touching the area with your tongue or fingers and do not drink through a straw to ensure that the clot is not removed.  Patients should rinse with warm salt water three times a day for a week and must stay hydrated.

It is normal to feel some discomfort following tooth extraction.  Patients may take over-the-counter pain relievers.  A cold compress can be used to help reduce swelling.

It is important to place gauze over the extraction site and change it as frequently as needed.  If bleeding persists, bite down gently but firmly on a moist tea bag for about 20 minutes.  At night, make sure to sleep with your head elevated to control bleeding.

For more information about tooth extractions, contact Dr. Rozenberg and the staff at Lana Rozenberg D.D.S. at (212) 265-7724 or click here to schedule a consultation online for our New York City Dental Office.

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