A tooth extraction is a treatment method used to remove a tooth or teeth from the mouth by a dentist. There are several reasons why a tooth will need to be extracted, with the most common being the tooth is damaged so badly it must be removed. A crowded mouth with too many teeth or even an infection can cause the need for an extraction. Whatever the case may be, your dentist can easily assist you with removing the tooth or teeth in question. But what happens after the extraction? What can you expect?
The Actual Procedure
The actual extraction procedure will include your dentist numbing the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. A strong general anesthetic may be used when multiple teeth are being removed. You will rest easy as the process takes place. If you have an impacted tooth, the dentist will need to cut away some of your gums and bone tissue to be able to use forceps to remove the tooth. Sometimes the tooth does not come away whole but has to be removed in segments.
Once the tooth has been taken out, there is a possibility that a blood clot will form in the leftover socket. Gauze will be used as padding for the socket and you will need to bite down so that the bleeding will stop. Stitches may be needed depending on your treatment and these stitches will easily dissolve later on. You want to be sure to watch the treated area as dry socket can occur. If the blood clot breaks, the bone is exposed which can be painful.
The recovery process after a tooth is removed can take some time, depending on the individual case. A few days is usually what is needed to feel comfortable with no discomfort. Be sure to have any pain medicine filled and take appropriately to relieve any pain associated with your procedure. Keep gauze in your mouth on the socket until the blood no longer fills the pad. Change pads often with clean gauze.
Feel free to use an ice pack on the affected area of your face to try and stop any swelling from occurring. Rest for at least 24 hours so that you feel better, limiting activity for as much as two to three days after for maximum healing. Rinse your mouth after 24 hours with a solution of water and salt for cleaning. Do not smoke or use a straw after the procedure. Eat only soft foods and add solid foods gradually over time.
Always consult with your dentist before and after a tooth extraction. Every individual is different and you want to be sure to follow directions correctly for your individual case.
To set up an appointment for a tooth extraction or to have an exam to see if you are need of dental service, contact our office at (602) 482-5100.