Sometimes it may be determined that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons.
Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed or broken in a way that cannot be repair; others may have advanced gum disease and be very loose and painful. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth, or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can sometimes lead to problems related to your chewing ability or cause shifting teeth. To avoid these complications, in most cases, the dentist will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement options for the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for a less traumatic removal.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, but there is no way to stop the feeling of pressure.
Home Care Instructions
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another damp gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and disturb the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after the first 24 hours. This should include gentle brushing and flossing your teeth and will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 705-525-4430.
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this.
Blood clots that form in the empty socket.
This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids.
If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Speak to you dentist before using any medications.
For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site.
Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse gently with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
It is highly advised to avoid smoking or vaping for at least 48 hours after extraction. Smoking before the extraction site has healed greatly increases the risk of dry socket.
Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull, moderate to severe throbbing and radiating pain, which doesn't appear typically until three to four days after the extraction. Dry socket may also cause a bad taste or bad breath.
The dentist will normally have to surgically clean the site and apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth the pain if dry socket occurs.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone and gum tissue. This process can take many weeks or months to fully complete, however after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience from the extraction site.