What to Expect From a Tooth Extraction
A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.
When a tooth is badly damaged by decay or broken as a result of injury, we will do everything possible to save it. In cases where there is too much damage to save your tooth, we will recommend a removing it. On rare occasions, a healthy tooth will need to be removed. If a healthy tooth gets knocked loose and can’t be saved with a bone graft, it will need to be removed. If the tooth is interfering with other teeth, as in the case of some wisdom teeth, it will need to be removed.
If you are need of a tooth extraction, we have oral surgeons on staff that can remove the tooth with as little pain as possible. Call us today to make an appointment.
Preparing for a tooth removal.
Before removing your tooth, the dentist or oral surgeon will x-ray the tooth area and make a plan for its extraction. You will need to provide a list of prescribed and over-the-counter medications you take regularly, including vitamins and supplements. We may prescribe an antibiotic if you have an infection at the time of the surgery, you have a weakened immune system, or if you have a medical condition that requires it.
A simple extraction can be done with a local oral anesthetic.
Once the area is numbed, the dentist will remove the tooth. During the extraction, you will feel pressure, but no pain. If you feel any pain or pinching, tell the professional performing the extraction. A surgical extraction, as in the case of most wisdom teeth or a badly broken tooth, you may need sedation. Your dentist or oral surgeon will make that determination. After the extraction, you will likely experience pain or discomfort. Your level of discomfort will depend on how difficult the extraction was. You may require stitches. In most cases, the recovery period will only last a few days.
To help speed the recovery:
- Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon.
- Remain propped up to help reduce bleeding time.
- After 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt-water mixture. (Combine 1tsp salt with about 8oz of water.)
- Change gauze packs when they become saturated with blood.
- Avoid smoking.
- Relax- strenuous activity may increase bleeding.
- Begin eating soft foods like thin soup and gelatin. Gradually work up to solid foods.
- Avoid exploring or rubbing the socket with your tongue.
- Continue to gently and carefully brush your teeth and tongue.
If your extraction required stitches, depending on what kind were used, you may need to return to the dentist to have them removed. Be sure to contact us as soon as possible if you have excessive pain, the bleeding won’t stop, or you think you may have injured the area with a toothbrush or hard food.