Dental Tips Blog

Aug
5

General Dentist or Oral Surgeon: Who Is Qualified to Extract Your Teeth?

Whether it’s pesky impacted wisdom teeth or an abscessed tooth, you need to have the affected ones extracted. Tooth extractions can end your pain and save your smile!

The question is: who should you see to get your tooth extracted?

General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon—The Difference

Your family dentist is qualified to perform routine teeth extractions. However, he or she is likely very busy with performing a variety of other procedures. General dentists place fillings, perform root canals, design crowns, repair dentures, besides many other services. They don’t necessarily specialize in removing teeth that are impacted or difficult to extract.

Oral surgeons, on the other hand, have a few extra years of education to prepare them specifically for operating on structures of the face. They’ve removed hundreds to thousands of teeth before they even graduated from dental school!

How Complex Is Your Case?

One important factor to consider when deciding who should perform the extraction is the complexity of your situation.

General dentists can perform basic tooth extractions. But they may not have the needed equipment or experience to handle the situation if things take an unexpected turn or are hard to reach.

An oral surgeon is prepared with the resources necessary to avoid complications and may have better anesthesia options than those available in typical dental offices.

How to Find an Oral Surgeon for a Tooth Extraction

You can simply ask your regular dentist for recommendations on choosing a good oral surgeon. Schedule a checkup with your family dentist to find out what your tooth needs. Ask about treatment options, your dentist’s experience, and the pros and cons of referring out to an oral surgeon.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

May
16

5 Tips for Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out

A wisdom tooth extraction is so common that it’s almost a rite-of-passage for many adults.

The following 5 tips can help you prepare for wisdom teeth removal.

Learn About Your Wisdom Teeth

First of all, find out what you should expect. Not everyone has the same wisdom tooth situation.

You may only need to have one or two wisdom teeth taken out. You may not need any extractions, at all…or, you may need to have all four removed at once. See your dentist to find out what he or she recommends.

Stock Up on Soft Foods

You’ll need a supply of foods that don’t require any chewing to get you through the first few days after wisdom tooth extraction. Solid foods can get lodged in the sockets and disrupt the surgical wound.

Well before your surgery, stock up your fridge and pantry with things like:

  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding

Rest Well, But Don’t Put Your Feet Up!

Get lots of rest after a wisdom tooth extraction. Take a few days or even a week off of work or school and stay in bed. Keep your head elevated, however, to prevent a strong flow of blood to the surgical site.

Use Lots of Ice

Ice will soothe the pain and bring down swelling. Keep lots of ice packs in your freezer for the first 24 hours!

Listen to Your Dentist

Your dentist or oral surgeon will have very specific directions for you to ensure that you recover quickly and fully from wisdom tooth extraction. These will include instructions for cleaning your teeth during the recovery period.

Do whatever your dentist advises, and your smile will be back to normal in no time!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Feb
17

3 Important Facts You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth

Boost your dental health knowledge with these three important facts about third molars.

Not Everyone Gets Their Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth aren’t a necessary or expected part of smile development.

Some people get all four wisdom teeth. Others may get only one, two, or three. Lucky folks don’t have any at all and never have to worry about them.

Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Major Problems if Not Removed

A high percentage of people who get their wisdom teeth need to have them extracted. This is because wisdom teeth often grow in crooked (impacted) due to limited space. The pressure from misaligned third molars can push other teeth out of alignment or damage them. Under these circumstances, tooth extraction is generally called for.

Even if your wisdom teeth come in evenly, they will always be at risk for problems. Third molars are hard to access way back in your mouth. Proper flossing and brushing is almost impossible. As a result, your teeth will be prone to developing cavities and gum disease, which can, in turn, spread to infect your other teeth.

That’s why it’s so important for a dentist to regularly evaluate your wisdom tooth development and health.

Wisdom Teeth Don’t Always Need to Be Extracted

Occasionally, wisdom teeth grow into the mouth with little trouble. If your third molars come in nice and straight and you can keep them clean, then they won’t cause you more trouble than any other tooth.

Removing a wisdom tooth can be complicated and risky if it’s close to a nerve in your jaw. So some impacted teeth are best left alone as long as they aren’t causing immediate problems.

Check with your dentist to find out how your wisdom teeth are doing!

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Jan
26

Can You Keep a Tooth After It’s Extracted?

You’re curious: would your dentist let you keep your extracted tooth?

Federal Law on Extracted Teeth

You might be surprised to find out that there are no regulations or federal laws on who gets to keep extracted teeth.

Even OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does not restrict returning extracted teeth to patients.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) itself states this:

“Once an extracted tooth is returned to a patient, it is no longer considered a potential risk to dental health care personnel and is no longer subject to the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.”

State Law on Extracted Teeth

Most states don’t have any clear regulations on returning teeth to patients. A few, like Florida, allow patients to keep extracted teeth after they’ve been disinfected. Check with your dentist to find out whether there are any local restrictions on getting your tooth back.

Why Don’t Dentists Return Extracted Teeth?

There is no law compelling dentists to give patients their extracted teeth. Dentists, however, are under law to ensure that a pulled tooth is properly disposed of as infectious waste. Most dentists are simply more comfortable with getting rid of a tooth in the regulated way.

If you really want to keep your tooth after a tooth extraction, whether because it has a gold filling, sentimental value, or would come in handy for showing off, talk about it with your dentist. It’s best to work out a plan long before you need to have a tooth extraction.

Best of all, try to keep your teeth securely in your mouth where they belong! Regular dental checkups will help you do just that.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

Nov
26

Will You Be Unconscious for Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Almost everyone who has to get their wisdom teeth taken out asks: “can I just sleep through my tooth extraction?”

Most likely, you will have sedation for the procedure. While sedation isn’t typical for routine dental work, it is when oral surgery is involved.

You’ll need to talk with your dentist or surgeon about your options beforehand to determine what kind of sedation is right for you.

Benefits of Sedation

Dental procedures such as tooth extractions can cause some people a lot of anxiety. If you’re someone who gets nervous about routine cleanings and fillings, then the idea of having a tooth removed could be too much.

With the help of sedation, you’ll remember little if any of your visit. It will likely feel as if you just slept through the whole thing, anxiety-free.

Dental sedation isn’t just for those with a weak stomach, however. Wisdom tooth extractions tend to be lengthy and more complex than a regular tooth removal, so it’s more comfortable in general to have treatment while sedated.

But the medication doesn’t just knock you out – there are different levels of sedatives available to achieve certain goals.

Kinds of Dental Sedatives and Anesthesia Used

First of all, there’s local anesthesia. This is simply the “numbing” injection that helps you not feel pain in your teeth or gums. You’ll be numb no matter how conscious you are.

Next, there are a few different levels of sedatives. They range from laughing gas to IV sedation to general anesthesia, which truly does make you “sleep” through the entire visit. Most oral surgeons remove wisdom teeth while their patients doze lightly with the help of an oral sedative.

Ask your dentist or oral surgeon for more information on sedation techniques offered.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Oct
21

What Is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a condition in which an extraction site does not heal properly after a tooth is removed. There is basically an empty opening in the gums that exposes the underlying tissues and bone.

Why It Happens

A normal extraction site will bleed for a little while after the tooth is removed. Within a few hours, however, a blood clot should form. This is the body’s natural way of stopping the bleeding and starting the healing process.

But if that blood clot never forms or is disturbed/infected, it can open up the extraction site and lead to a dry socket.

Signs of Dry Socket

If you end up with dry socket after an extraction, you will likely experience significant discomfort for a couple days straight.

Symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Spotting the bone peeking through in the socket
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty eating
  • Pain that just won’t go away

How to Prevent Dry Socket

Your dentist will give you specific instructions for recovering from a dental extraction. This will include things like not smoking or using a straw, and avoiding intense physical activity. These things can all disrupt the blood clot or prevent it from forming.

It’s also important that you treat your gums for any bacterial infection before having an extraction in order to prevent the socket from getting infected.

Painful though a dry socket can be, it’s rather unlikely you’ll get one. They’re more commonly associated with extracting impacted wisdom teeth. Following your home care instructions is the best way to prevent one.

If you’re worried about getting dry socket or think you have it, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Sep
14

Does it Hurt to Get Teeth Extracted?

Whether it’s a wisdom tooth or abscessed one, you want to know what getting an extraction feels like before it happens.

Happily, it won’t be anywhere near as bad as you may have expected.

The Area is Completely Numb

Thanks to local anesthetic, you won’t experience any pain. The injection may pinch a little bit at first, but within a few minutes you’ll be so numb that nothing should bother you.

Your dentist will wait until he or she is 100% sure that you’re numb before starting to remove your tooth.

Pressure, Not Pain

As the tooth extraction gets underway, you will feel something. But this isn’t pain – it’s pressure. The dentist has to apply a bit of force to loosen the ligaments around the tooth root and separate it from the bone.

You may feel a bit anxious about experiencing the pressure. But if you’re numb from the anesthesia, then no, you won’t be feeling any pain.

Dentist’s Reassurance

Your dentist or oral surgeon doesn’t want your tooth extraction to hurt, either!

You’ll feel better after you talk with your dentist and express your concerns. He or she will establish a signal that you can use to calmly ask him or her to stop if something doesn’t feel right. This is often just something like raising your left hand. This will put your mind at ease knowing you’re in control, and help you relax.

Post-Procedural Pain Prevention

Your jaw will likely be sore once the anesthesia wears off. Your dentist may recommend that you take some over the counter pain relief medication to limit swelling and discomfort before they set in.

Find out how you can prepare for a tooth extraction by contacting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Mar
6

What Can I Eat After Having Oral Surgery?

Whether you have sutures in your gums or your wisdom teeth extracted, you may be experiencing a bit of mild discomfort. This can affect your ability to chew as well as your appetite. What can you eat for the next few days after oral surgery?

Use the following suggestions to plan your meals for the week after your next oral surgical procedure:

Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat

Want to start off your day with something substantial? Warm cereal is a good way to go.

Soup

Warm soup is a comforting way to get your body the nutrients it needs. Just don’t eat it while it’s too hot. That definitely won’t feel good if you accidentally burn yourself.

Macaroni and Cheese

You don’t want your pasta al dente for this dish! Make sure the noodles are cooked until very soft and that there’s enough cheese sauce to make them easy to swallow. This is another great option for getting protein and a full belly with minimal chewing.

Mashed Potatoes

Whether you go for sweet or regular potatoes, mashing them is a good way to get fiber. Use an electric mixer to ensure that the potatoes don’t have any chunks that need chewing.

Dessert

Yes, your dentist approves sweets in this case! Cool, soft, and easy-to-swallow desserts are a good way to soothe sore gums and give your jaw a break. They can even boost your morale. Choose from soft-serve ice cream, pudding, and Jell-O.

The key is to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing. Anything you can gently sip from a glass or spoon is fair game! Talk with your dentist for more ideas on safe foods during recovery from oral surgery.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103
678-888-1554

Nov
8

Help! My Kid Has Two Rows of Teeth!

“Shark teeth” or double rows of teeth is a very common occurrence in kids. It frequently happens around the lower front teeth in children about six years of age.

As your child’s adult teeth start to grow in, they put pressure on the roots of baby teeth. This makes them start to break down and loosen. With time, the baby tooth gets wiggly and falls out, making room for the adult one to take its place.

Well, that’s how the process is supposed to go. But on occasion, things seem to happen out of order.

Make Way for Adult Teeth

If there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the adult teeth to move into place, they may start to erupt just behind the baby teeth. Or perhaps a baby tooth’s roots were too tough to resorb properly. In either case, an adult tooth may decide to grow in where there’s nothing blocking it.

The problem with this is that now the baby tooth has nothing pushing on it, so it’s not going anywhere. Your child could end up permanently stuck with some double rows of teeth.

Fortunately, your kid’s dentist can do something about this. An examination will help you find out for sure whether tooth extraction is necessary or whether the baby teeth will soon fall out on their own. Get the stubborn primary teeth removed quickly, and there may be time for crooked adult ones to drift into the proper place.

If your dentist advises extracting stubborn baby teeth, everyone can rest assured that it will be a quick and surprisingly comfortable process. Contact your child’s dental office for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists
481 Garrisonville Rd. Suite 103
Stafford, VA 22554
(540) 322-1808

Oct
9

Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?

Most people are given the option of extracting their wisdom teeth while they’re young adults. You might be facing that decision right now. Naturally, few people are happy to have even one tooth pulled, let alone up to four at once!

But there are pluses to getting your third molars out sooner rather than later.

Are You In Pain?

Wisdom teeth that are erupting through the gums can be quite irritating. You can head off the pain before it starts by opting to have your wisdom teeth taken out.

Anticipated Trajectory

Your wisdom teeth may not be bothering you right now. But your dentist may recommend extraction anyway if they appear to be on a collision course with other teeth.

Do You Really Need Them?

Because wisdom teeth are located so far back in the mouth, it’s easy to neglect them with brushing and flossing. This puts them at risk for developing cavities and gum disease in the tissues around them.

Should problems arise, you’re not going to be in a hurry to treat those teeth with a filling or crown. So, this brings you to a dilemma: would you prefer to have those molars pulled as the need arises? Or would it be simpler to just have them taken out all at once at a convenient time you can plan for?

True, some people manage to hold onto their wisdom teeth their entire lives without much trouble. To see if that’s going to work in your case, you’ll need to work closely with your dentist. Keep an eye on how your wisdom teeth develop and keep them as clean as you can.

Posted on behalf of:
River Ranch Dental
203 George Hopper Rd #100
Midlothian, TX 76065
(469) 672-4245

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