Ideally, we’d like to be able to save every problematic tooth we come across. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, and sometimes it does become necessary to remove a tooth to protect your other teeth or your overall dental health.

In the case that you do need to have a tooth removed, you want to know that it can be done by a dentist you trust in a comfortable, familiar location.

Dr. Aldrich is skilled in dental extractions – including more complex extractions and wisdom tooth extractions. This allows us to perform extractions right here in our Waterloo dental office, preventing the need to involve another provider and maintaining continuity of care.

Why Do I Need an Extraction?

We might recommend an extraction for a number of reasons, but ultimately it comes down to the need to protect your remaining teeth and your overall health. Some of the reasons that may indicate that extraction is the right choice include:

  • Your tooth is severely infected and root canal therapy isn’t a good option.
  • Your tooth is decayed or damaged to the point where it can no longer be saved.
  • Root canal therapy was unsuccessful.
  • Your teeth are severely crowded.
  • You are getting dentures and we must remove your remaining teeth.
  • You have impacted (partially or completely covered by gum tissue) or otherwise problematic wisdom teeth.  

Of course, before we proceed, we will discuss your options with you, along with your expected prognosis for each, so that you can make an informed decision about your dental care.

Simple Extractions vs. Complex Extractions

The type of extraction we perform depends on factors such as whether the tooth is intact above the gums or whether it is impacted. Simple extractions, as you may have guessed from the name, are simpler. Complex, or surgical, extractions will require an incision into the gum tissue and, often, stitches following the procedure.

Your mouth has a remarkable ability to heal itself, and your healing time should only be a few days. We’ll let you know what to expect depending on your specific procedure.

Extraction Aftercare

Prior to your extraction, go shopping for some soft foods that don’t require much effort to chew. Good choices include yogurt and smoothies (that can be eaten with a spoon), cool soups, pudding, ice cream, and so forth.

Although it may be tempting to drink liquids through a straw, you should avoid doing this. Drinking through a straw creates suction in your mouth, and this suction can dislodge the clot that forms in the socket and aids in the healing process. If this clot becomes dislodged, your healing time may be extended and you’ll be at risk for complications like dry socket.

You should also avoid smoking following your procedure. Smoking slows down the healing process by impeding blood flow in the area. Like drinking through a straw, smoking also creates suction, which can dislodge your clot. If you smoke, we’ll work with you to create a plan for during your healing time.

If you've been prescribed medication, take it exactly as directed. Dr. Aldrich will discuss other techniques to help keep you comfortable while you heal. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to call our office.

Call to Schedule Your Evaluation

Do you need an extraction? Call our office to schedule an evaluation with Waterloo dentist Dr. Aldrich so that we can make a plan for your procedure.