Tooth Extraction Procedure and Aftercare Tips

Dec 01, 2020
Tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from the jaw by a dentist. There are several reasons why you may have the procedure done, such as:
  • Crowded Mouth – A tooth extraction can be performed when your dentist wants to make some space in your mouth for orthodontia, which involves aligning the teeth in the mouth.
  • Tooth Decay and Infection – When the damage from tooth decay reaches the pulp, bacteria from your mouth can enter there and cause an infection, thus requiring tooth extraction.
  • Damage from Trauma – If a tooth gets broken or damaged from hard impact, there may be a need to perform a tooth extraction.
  • Gum Disease

The Extraction Procedure

Before going in for the tooth extraction, it is necessary to communicate with your dentist on your current health conditions and the medications you are taking to avoid any complications that may arise. When going in for a tooth extraction procedure, here is what you might expect: For a simple extraction, your dentist will inject you with some local anesthesia to prevent you from feeling any pain or discomfort as it numbs you. You will be conscious of your surroundings the whole time. In some cases, like having more than one tooth removed, the dentist might use a strong general anesthetic, which will put you to sleep during the entire procedure. This is referred to as a surgical extraction as you will be unconscious the whole time. In the case of an impacted tooth, your dentist will lacerate the gums and cartilage tissues covering the tooth. Using an elevator, the dentist will rock the tooth to-and-fro to make it lose and then use dental forceps to pull out the tooth. After the extraction, a clot will form in the opening left by the tooth. Your dentist will put a gauze pad in the space and then have your grip on it to reduce bleeding. In some cases, the clot in the tooth opening or the socket will break loose, leaving the bone uncovered. This condition is referred to as a dry socket. In the event of this, your dentist will put a soothing dressing atop the socket for some days to keep it safe as it forms a new clot.

Aftercare Tips and Instructions

After the procedure, you can expect recovery and healing to take just a few days. The following are tooth extraction aftercare tips and instructions to follow to ensure the recovery process is as smooth as possible:
  • Take your painkillers and medication as directed by your dentist
  • Leaving the gauze in for approximately three to four hours after the procedure will stop the bleeding and help form a blood clot in the socket. Replace the gauze with another once it is drenched with blood.
  • To decrease your risk of dry socket, avoid dislodging the blood clot, so don’t rinse, spit, or use a straw for 24 hours after the procedure
  • After a day, you should rinse your mouth with a salt solution
  • You should try to avoid smoking as it slows down the tooth extraction recovery process
  • Carry on brushing and flossing your teeth to prevent infection, though be careful to avoid the place where the tooth was removed.
  • Eat soft foods and drink liquids, such as soup, pudding, applesauce, and yogurt the day after the extraction. You can also make smoothies, but you will have to use a spoon. You can gradually add solid foods to your diet after about a week as the extraction site heals. This will help control the pain.
  • You can put an ice pack on the affected area immediately following the procedure to help reduce swelling, but only for 10 minutes at a time as leaving ice packs on for too long periods can result in tissue damage.
  • Take it easy and rest for at least a day after the procedure and limit your activity over the next couple of days by avoiding physical activities such as exercise. It can increase your blood pressure and make your extraction site bleed.

When to Reach Out to Your Dentist in D’lberville, MS

After the procedure, the anesthesia will wear off, and it is normal to experience some pain, bleeding, and swelling. However, if there is excessive pain and bleeding 4 hours after the procedure, you must reach out and follow up with your dentist immediately. You should also get in touch with your dentist if you experience any of the following:
  • Nausea
  • A foul taste coming from the extraction area
  • Excessive discharge from the point of extraction
  • You feel like your teeth are not aligned or are shifting places
  • Numbness or tingling in your mouth
  • Difficulty in fully opening your mouth one week after your extraction
You can also reach out to a dentist near you if you have any questions about tooth extraction aftercare. If you are in Dilberville, MS, visit Backbay Family Dentistry to find dentists such as Dr. Jeremy W. Parker, who will be ready to help you with your dental needs.