Upon patient’s initial visit to our office, patient will be evaluated by Dr. Steve Kim. Radiographs will be taken to determine the condition of the patient’s teeth and they may be referred to an Oral Surgeon regarding possible extraction(s). An oral surgeon specialized in tooth extraction. While Dr. Steve Kim performs many extractions in the office, there are cases that require a specialist to conduct the procedure.
Extraction is the last option for Dr. Steve Kim after all other procedures or treatments to save a tooth is exhausted. In the case a tooth needs to be extracted, it is only because other treatments are not an option such as: a root canal therapy, crowns, fillings, and/or another other method a tooth can be restored. Besides extensive decay, fractured tooth, or mobile and infected tooth, another reason that will lead to extraction of tooth is due to orthodontic work. An orthodontist may refer the patient to Dr. Steve Kim for an extraction due to crowding (see note below). Regardless of the outcome of an extraction at Dr. Steve Kim’s office or an oral surgeon’s office, we will always provide the patient with a variety of tooth replacement options. There are many options to replace a missing tooth that can accommodate any lifestyle and needs.
Initially, Dr. Steve Kim will numb the area with a topical anesthetic then give the treating patient a local anesthetic injection to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. Once the tooth has been pulle d, stitches may or may not be required. After the extraction, Dr. Steve Kim will place a gauze pad and have the patient bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. If stitched were placed after the extraction, then a two week follow up for stitch removal and checkup is required. An ice pack may also be provided for if it is necessary to prevent swelling the next day. However, many times an ice pack is not necessary because of the minimal invasive nature of an extraction. The office staff will always go over after care instructions that instruct the patient of what they should and should not do.
Patients are referred to Dr. Steve Kim by an orthodontist for teeth extraction due to overcrowding. Typically four teeth and/or any wisdom teeth are removed for orthodontic work. Getting orthodontic work is not only cosmetically beneficially, but having aligned teeth can improve oral hygiene, jaw pain, and/or bite alignments. During an exam, if Dr. Steve Kim determines an orthodontic procedure is beneficially, he will provide you a referral to an orthodontist.
Seeing Dr. Steve Kim twice a year for your check up will help identify tooth decay. Some decay is minimal and can be treated right away. Early stages of decay can be treated with a simple filling. Moderate decays that extend into the pulp channel of the tooth requires a root canal treatment. Both methods are utilized to restore and save a tooth. However, leaving a decay untreated to an advance stage will need to be extracted. Extracting a tooth with extensive decay is necessary to alleviate pain and prevent further damage to surrounding areas (gums, bone, other adjacent teeth).
If a patient experience swollen gums and bleeding gums, chances are they have periodontal disease. Mobile teeth in the socket are an indication of advance periodontal disease. Often times patients may not feel symptoms during the early stage of periodontal disease (also known as gingivitis), which is why regular check-ups with Dr. Steve Kim are important. Periodontal disease causes loss of bone and eventually teeth become loose in the socket. Mobile teeth are infected with bacteria and can teeth periocontinue to spread below the gum lime affecting other teeth and surround bone. Some patients with severe periodontal disease may experience a lot of pain. Extractions are required to alleviate any pain and to prevent further damage to the bone and other surrounding gums and teeth.
After Extraction Care
Following an extraction patient may experience some swelling and discomfort, which are part of the normal healing process. Cold compressions may help decrease any possible swelling. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed by Dr. Steve Kim if necessary. Pain medication can be taken as needed for pain. Typically, any over the counter medication is sufficient after an extraction. If antibiotics are prescribed by Dr. Steve Kim, it must be finished to prevent infection and antibiotic resistance developments.
We will provide an ‘After-Care Instruction’ pamphlet. If you want to print one out at home for your convenience or if you lost your copy, go to the ‘OTHER’ section.
Preventive care is vital to saving your teeth. Most extraction procedures can be avoided by coming in regularly for checkups and cleaning. However, if a patient requires an extraction it can be done. Extraction is common procedure, with little to no pain – there’s nothing to fear!