When do I need a tooth extracted?
Sometimes, decay and/or trauma has done so much damage to a tooth that removal is your only option. In cases of wisdom teeth, your dentist may even recommend extraction proactively, before active damage has been done. Often the shape and size of your jaw, the way the wisdom teeth develop and how they erupt from the gums make it impossible to keep them without increased risk of decay and damage, both to them and your other teeth.
There are levels of complexity when it comes to extracting a tooth, but it can be broadly separated into two categories
This can be performed on teeth that can be seen in the mouth and can be removed using local anesthetic and instruments design to grab and elevate the visible portion of the tooth. We’ll then send you home with post-operative instructions for care and prescriptions for any necessary medications – you’ll want to take it easy for about 24 hours after this procedure.
What to Do After A Tooth Extraction
After a tooth is pulled, we want to see the blood clot and the bleeding stop so you can begin to heal. Biting on the gauze pad that we sent you out with for 30-45 minutes after the extraction helps us accomplish this. If bleeding or oozing continues after you remove the gauze pad, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another thirty minutes. After the blood clot forms, it is important to protect it, especially for the next 3 days.
- Drink through a straw
- Rinse your mouth vigorously by swishing
- Don’t expectorate
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for the first 24 hours.
- For the first 24 hours do not brush next to the extraction site, and remember not to expectorate excess toothpaste or swish vigorously. You may gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to promote healing and resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours.
- Some swelling and soreness are normal. You may use an ice bag to minimize swelling for the first 2 days.
- Use pain medication only as directed, call the office if it doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
- Drink lots of fluid and eat only soft nutritious foods on the day of the extraction.
- Don’t use alcoholic beverages and avoid hot and spicy foods.
- Avoid grainy foods or seeds
- Eat soft foods for the first 2 days: mashed potatoes, bananas, yogurt, pasta, eggs, etc