There are several reasons for extracting a tooth. These include:
Severe Tooth Damage/ Trauma: Some teeth have such extensive decay and damage (broken or cracked) that repair is not possible.
Mal-positioned/Nonfunctional Teeth: To avoid possible complications that may result in an eventual, negative impact on oral health, your dentist may recommend removing teeth that are misaligned and/or essentially useless (teeth that have no opposing tooth to bite against).
Orthodontic Treatment: Such as braces, may require tooth extraction to make needed space for improved teeth alignment.
Extra Teeth: Also referred to as supernumerary teeth, extra teeth may block other teeth from erupting.
Post Operative Instructions
After the extraction we will have you bite down on a gauze pack to limit the bleeding. This will also help the blood clot form, which will be necessary for proper healing. We advice your to bite down on a wet gauze for 30 - 45 minutes after leaving our office. Change out the gauze every 15-30 minutes till the bleeding stops. DO NOT chew on the gauze pack. Fold 2 - 3 pieces or gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on. Make sure to damp the pack with clean, warm water and place it directly on the extraction site. Do not suck on the extraction site or disturb it with your tongue. If bleeding does not seem to stop please contact our office. (Remember, a bit of blood mixed with saliva may look like a lot of bleeding. Once gauze is a light pink color you may stop biting down on gauze)
Do Not Disturb the Area!
The blood clot that forms in the socket of the tooth plays an important part in the healing process. You should avoid things that may disturb the area.
Do not rinse vigorously or drink through a straw for 24 hours. Doing this creates suction in the mouth, which could loosen up the clot and delay the healing period.
Avoid drinking alcohol or using mouthwash containing alcohol for 24 hours
DO NOT smoke after surgery
No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form properly
Sometimes the blood clot doesn't form in the first day or two after the extraction. When a blood clot breaks down or comes out it's called a dry socket. Dry sockets tend to be more painful than a tooth ache and should immediately be reported to your dentist.
Cleaning Your Mouth
You can still brush and floss your teeth like normal. We advice you to not clean the teeth surrounding the healing tooth socket till the day after the extraction. You can also brush your tongue. This will help you get rid of bad breath and unpleasant taste that are common after a tooth extraction.
After 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (half a teaspoon salt and an 8 oz. glass of water) after every meal to keep the area nice and clean. DO NOT rinse vigorously, as this may result in the blood clot to loosen up. Rinsing with warm salt water can also help you with any discomfort you may experience in the extraction area.
If we prescribed medicine to control the pain, inflammation, or to prevent any infection, use it only as instructed. If the medication doesn't seem to work for you, please call our office to consult with the doctor for a better option.
Swelling and Pain
After the extraction, you may experience some discomfort and notice some swelling. This is very normal. To help reduce swelling and pain, try applying an ice pack or a cold, moist cloth to your face. Place it on your cheek 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as needed.
Eating and Drinking
After the extraction, drink lots of fluids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid anything too hot or too spicy. Do not drink any alcoholic beverages or carbonated drinks. Remember to not drink threw a straw either where you may irritate the extraction site. Try to eat on the opposite side till you feel comfortable eating on the extraction side. Once you feel comfortable you may start eating normal food once again.
Follow - Up
If you had sutures placed that require removal, you will then need to come in for a follow up visit to have those sutures removed. Our sutures last up to 10 days before they either dissolve or come out on its own.
If you have any concerns or think something doesn't seem normal, don't hesitate to give us a call or stop by to get the area evaluated.