You and the doctors may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease , or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment to help create space.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, it can allow teeth to shift, and withthe more teeth that are lost, it could lead to issues within the jaw joint. Any of these can have a significant impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, the doctors may discuss alternatives to extractions as well as considerations for replacement of 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 removal.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.
Sectioning a tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Extraction Home Care…
Some minor bleeding, oozing or spotting may occur for a couple days afterwards, which is normal. If you feel it’s significant, we recommend placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 30-40 minutes which can usually control this. You could also lightly moisten a TEA BAG and place it directly over the extract site for 30-40 minutes.
To better evaluate the bleeding, rinse the mouth out a couple times with water, then drink some some clean water, swallow any water and saliva, then look inside. If it’s trickling or mildly oozing, the guaze and tea bag trick usually helps.
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 straws, smoking, hot liquids, and vigorous rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after extractions.
Swelling can occur after surgery, and it usually peaks 2 to 3 days later. To help minimize it, we recommend keeping your head elevated (above your heart) and icing for the first 2 days. Wrapping ice in a towel and placing it on your face for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes helps. Repeating this cycle for the first and second days following surgery helps minimize it. Then warm moist compresses/towels can help get rid of it (starting day 3 and beyond).
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. We have been almost Narcotic free for over 18 months. If possible, we recommend drinking 8oz of pineapple juice, twice a day, for 3 days prior to surgery, and if possible, taking some Ibuprofen, or even Tylenol, after dinner the night before surgery.
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 with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Following our post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot has been dislodged or fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted. They can develop on days 3-5 following an extraction. A dull throbbing pain, radiating to the ear, with sometimes a headache feeling is usually a dry socket. The pain can be moderate to severe and is worse than days 1-3 levels. They do eventually resolve on their own, but if bothersome, just call us and we can apply some clove oil, or place a medicated dressing into the extraction site to soothe and usually relieve the pain.
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. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1-2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.
At any point, if you were to have any questions or concerns, you could just call us at 508-553-8989.