Extractions / Oral Surgery
When restoration procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be pulled, or extracted. Some teeth are removed 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 to be extracted because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment. In some cases, the tooth is simply not repairable, or may be decayed below the gum line, or has lost too much bone due to gum disease. Sometimes, it’s a matter of health in the case of infections, cysts, or wisdom teeth. And teeth are frequently removed to create the space necessary to allow for other teeth to grow.
Teeth extractions are routinely performed in our office, but 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. So we will also discuss with you replacing extracted teeth with Implants, Bridges, or Removable partials.
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 will feel 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
After Extraction Home Care
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this.
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 rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
- Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids.
- Avoid smoking during the healing process.
If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
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.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.
Our doctors will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth 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.