Tooth extraction are needed because the tooth/teeth are severely decayed, fractured and are non-repairable, have infection, have a failed root canal treatment or because of advanced periodontal (gum and bone ) disease. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or strategically make sense to remove because saving them would compromise the final treatment, increase cost, treatment time or number of surgical visits.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
Care after an Extraction
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45-60 min minutes can control this. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding, reapply a new gauze and wait twice as long. Much like a band aid, this promotes the blood clotting. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding a non-herbal tea bag that is moist can be used instead of the gauze and the tannic acid will help more yet to stop the bleeding. Remember to recline with your head ABOVE your heart in an easy chair, in bed or on the couch. Remaining inactive also helps to keep the bleeding from continuing.
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 and or disturb the sutures. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction and limit your food intake to a super soft to liquid diet for 3 days total. Avoid use of a straw, smoking, drinking hot liquids, soda and alcohol. This is a good time to take it easy. If you have socket bone regeneration this helps stabilize the blood clot.
Placing ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes repeatedly as a cycle for up to 24 hours will help reduce swelling. Some patients say it helps them feel comfortable to use it more than this or longer than a day after treatment. If you can take NSAID’s (ibuprofen, Naprosyn etc.) they also help reduce pain and swelling
Pain and Medications:
If you experience pain or post-operative swelling, you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as Tylenol or particularly ibuprofen along with the prescriptions we have given you. Certainly we expect that these medications will be strong enough and want you to call us if the pain persists.
After extractions, make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 48 hours. Focus on taking nutritious foods/liquids to help your body to heal and don’t depend on manmade liquids like Ensure or vitamin pills as they are no substitute for blended or very soft foods. With more advanced procedures, a liquid diet may be recommended for a longer period of time.
Brushing and Cleaning:
After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day with your regular tooth brush. We will give you a post-operative, extra soft Red tooth brush to use. After a day or two, you can resume gentle cleaning with this brush using the prescription antibacterial mouth rinse (Chlorhexidine Gluconate) applying it as a liquid tooth paste to gently clean the area. Avoid commercial mouth rinses containing alcohol, as they tend to irritate the extraction site.
Signs of Infection:
If you have prolonged swelling, pain, fever or feel run down that fails to improve after the first 3 days, then you may have an infection. Please call us.