Tooth Extraction at New Teeth Now
Tooth Extraction Procedure
A tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures performed in our oral surgery clinic. Whether you’re having your wisdom teeth or one of your other molars, incisors, or canines removed, the procedure will be done correctly and without pain.
The removal or extraction of a tooth is the oldest form of dental treatment. Before antibiotic therapy, tooth extractions actually saved people’s lives. While dentists try to save teeth using fillings, crowns and root canals, even now, it’s sometimes necessary to remove a tooth due to infection, impaction, decay or damage.
Before the Procedure
X-rays will be taken to determine the exact location of the tooth that needs to be removed. It helps determine the tooth’s location relative to nerves, sinuses and your other teeth. An x-ray can also determine if any infection is present. If so, your surgeon may ask you to take antibiotics for several days before and after the extraction. Do not smoke on the day of the procedure or you risk getting a painful dry socket.
Types of Extractions
Simple extraction: Performed when the tooth can be seen your mouth. Otherwise, it’s not hidden below the gum line. After your mouth is numbed with a local anesthetic, one of our oral surgeons will loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then, forceps are used to remove the tooth from the socket. You will feel some pressure, but should feel no pinching or pain. Be sure to tell the surgeon if you do.
Surgical extraction: More complex, this procedure is required when the tooth has broken at the gum line or has not erupted into your mouth as often seen with wisdom teeth. Many times, intravenous drugs are used for surgical extractions since the procedure takes longer and is more involved than a simple extraction. After you’re asleep, a small incision will be made in your gum, and the surgeon will remove the broken or impacted tooth.
After the Procedure
For the first hour following the extraction, bite down firmly on the gauze that’s covering the extraction sites. Also, it is important to change the gauze every 15-20 minutes to control bleeding. If bleeding persists after one hour, place new gauze over the surgical site and bite down to apply pressure for another 30-60 minutes.
After you get home, place ice packs on your cheek or jaw where the extraction occurred. Apply firm pressure with the ice pack for 20 minutes, then take it off for 20 minutes and repeat the process. It is recommended that you begin a liquid diet and to take pain medication and/or antibiotics, if prescribed. Eat soft foods as you can tolerate them, and start your regular oral hygiene routine as soon as possible. However, don’t brush vigorously or poke anything in the extraction site. Do not drink through a straw, smoke or spit since these actions will increase bleeding.
If you had a surgical extraction, you may have stitches in your mouth. These will dissolve on their own within a week or two. Using a warm salt water rinse beginning 24 hours after the procedure will help the stitches to dissolve.
Learn more about at-home care below or contact our office if you experience heavy bleeding or pain that radiates through your jaw, toward your ear.
Tooth Extraction Care
Most people experience few side effects or complications following a simple tooth extraction. However, you should be aware of the proper way to care for your mouth following the procedure. Doing so will ensure you make a full recovery quickly. If you have questions though, don’t hesitate to call us for clarification.
What to Expect
In the first 48 hours following extraction, expect some swelling, bleeding, and mild pain. You can usually alleviate these symptoms with at-home care.
Things to Do
- Bite down firmly on a piece of fresh gauze to lessen bleeding and oozing.
- If bleeding becomes severe, make certain the gauze is pressing against the area of the extracted tooth, not between your gum and cheek. If bleeding doesn’t stop, try biting on a damp tea bag that’s wrapped in a piece of gauze. If heavy bleeding persists, please call our office at 863-665-8878.
- To lessen swelling, use an ice pack during the first 24 to 48 hours following extraction (a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or even a bag of frozen peas). Apply the pack firmly to your face or cheek adjacent to the extraction. Apply for 20 minutes, then remove for 20 minutes.
- After 48 hours, and when the swelling has dissipated, use heat to speed healing. Press a warm compress to your face or cheek for 20 minutes, then remove for 20 minutes.
- Take pain medication for discomfort, but know that it can take up to an hour for the medication to be fully absorbed into your system. If you take a pain pill while you can still feel the effects of the local anesthesia, you’ll be more comfortable immediately following extraction. Take over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil or use the prescription medications ordered by our office.
- If you experience nausea, try eating soft food and drinking plenty of water before taking a pain pill. You can also try drinking a soft drink that’s been stirred to remove carbonation. If nausea persists, call our office–we can order an anti-nausea medication or change your pain medication.
- Rinse your mouth using one-quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Use the entire glassful, a little at a time. Repeat at least two or three times daily for the five days following extraction.
Things to Avoid
- Don’t smoke for 48 hours.
- Don’t drink through a straw as this will increase bleeding.
- Don’t spit excessively.
- Don’t brush your teeth vigorously.
- Don’t touch the area with your fingers or a foreign object.
Dry Sockets and Infection
After the third day, you should begin to markedly improve. However, if you experience severe, persistent throbbing pain in your jaw, you could have a dry socket. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot from the socket is lost. The pain may radiate toward your ear or into your other teeth. If you suspect this is happening, call our office so we can help.
Infections are usually rare following tooth extraction, but it can happen if food gets trapped beneath the gum. Signs of infection can even occur in the months following an extraction. If you experience swelling outside the first 48 hours, call our office immediately and speak with one of our oral surgeons.
These instructions will help you care for your mouth after an extraction, but if you have questions about your progress, feel free to call our office. A 24-hour answering service is available for after-hours contact with a doctor, but calling during office hours will ensure a faster response.