What are some reasons a tooth might need to be extracted?

Sometimes the decay has gone deep under the bone, or there's not enough tooth left to restore or put a crown on it. The tooth might be split or the damage may be beyond what we can save.

What are some alternatives to extraction?

Nowadays, we have dental implants. We can take the tooth out, let it heal, and put an implant in. Implants are a great replacement option for a missing tooth.

What can patients expect in terms of pain during and after the procedure?

Patients will be totally numb during the procedure. Most of my patients do not need narcotics after the procedure, and nine out of ten of my patients take over the counter pain medication. Mild postoperative discomfort is normal, but usually, the break to the tooth or whatever reason it needs to be extracted is more painful than the post-operative recovery.

What is the process of getting a dental implant like?

Implanting a tooth is a bit more of a process. We take the tooth out, let the bone heal, put the implant in, let the bone heal before you get the crown. The waiting time is really for the bone to heal. After six months, the bone's totally healed. Sometimes you can get an implant as soon as two months after the procedure.

What are some potential complications after an extraction?

If there's any acute pain after the procedure, that could be a sign of a post-op infection or a dry socket, which is a nerve pain after a tooth's taken out.

What are your recommendations regarding wisdom teeth?

If you're going to take them out, it's better to do it before the age of 25 to get complete bone healing. If the wisdom tooth is deep or impacted, I can refer you to a neurosurgeon. However, each person's situation is different.

What options are there for those who want to be sedated during the procedure?

We have laughing gas or nitrous oxide in the office. If you want to be completely unconscious for the procedure, I can refer you to an oral surgeon.

What are some post-operative care tips?

After the extraction, you just need some time to heal. You can bite on gauze if it's bleeding, apply an ice pack on the outside of the face, and eat, drink, brush, and floss to comfort. Physical activity should also be to comfort. Avoid sucking through a straw or vigorous swishing for the first couple of days and avoid smoking. Other than that, there's not a lot you can do that's going to hurt the healing.

How much time off do you need after an extraction?

This depends on the person. Some people go back to work immediately while others might take a day or two off. Physical activity should be avoided for a couple of days.

How can I learn more or get in touch?

You can give us a call at the office, (703) 451-4500. Our website is DulacDDS.com.

This is Dr. Dulac, and I am providing post-op instructions. You can eat or drink to comfort, meaning whatever you want. However, try to avoid spicy foods and foods with sharp edges if they bother the surgical site. Brush and floss to comfort. Be gentle in the area of the operation. Over-the-counter options are Tylenol and Motrin. If you need something stronger, please call me.

You can engage in physical activity to comfort. As your blood pressure and heart rate may go up, you might feel a little sore but there's no restriction. Please don't suck through a straw or swish vigorously for a couple of days post-op. The main thing that would hinder healing is smoking. If you smoke, consider using patches as the nicotine in tobacco can constrict blood vessels and prevent healing. Smokers often get a dry socket, a painful condition. If you're worried about this, call the office and I can provide a medicated paste.

If there's any bleeding, bite on the gauze we provide. A good home remedy is a teabag, or you can apply ice on the outside of the face. You can use warm compresses after the first 72 hours if you wish. If your pain isn't managed by over-the-counter medicine, give us a call and I can prescribe something stronger.

Take any antibiotic that we prescribe to completion. Amoxicillin or penicillin are our go-tos if you don't have an allergy to them. If you need an antibiotic, I'll let you know and get you one after the procedure. After the first three to five days, the clot will be pretty stable. It'll start to scab over. In about three to four to five weeks, the gum will be fully healed in the area. The most common time for a post-op infection is about a week after the surgery. If your condition starts to get worse and not better, let us know.

We make every effort to save your teeth, but in the case that an extraction is the best treatment option, Dr. Dulac has extensive experience extracting teeth and will not need to refer you to an oral surgeon for extractions in most cases.

Because he also places implants, if you would like your implant placed at the same time as the tooth is removed, Dr. Dulac can do that for you as well.

The most common question Dr. Dulac gets after an extraction is: “It’s out already?” Many patients view extractions as a complex or arduous procedure. Most teeth can be quickly and easily removed.

If you preferred to be referred to an oral surgeon, Dr. Dulac also works with a number of surgeons in the greater Springfield, VA area.

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