Our surgeons or your dentist may determine that you need an extraction for any number of reasons. Many teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
There are several options for anesthesia available during the procedure. Our surgeons will be happy to discuss these options.
Immediately Following Surgery
- Gauze should be placed over the surgical area for at least 1 hour. Change gauze at least every 30 minutes.
- Vigorous mouth rinsing can be started the day following surgery. Touching the wound following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding.
- Over-the-counter analgesics that you are able to take are very helpful in avoiding the stronger pain medications. We advise the use of regular OTC doses of ibuprofen and tylenol (e.g 400mg Ibuprofen AND 325mg Tylenol)
- Take the prescribed pain medications only when the ibuprofen and/or tylenol are not working. Use the prescribed pain medication with extreme caution. They are sedating and addictive. Keep these drugs away from young children and dispose of appropriately. Do not keep or share unused narcotic prescriptions. Your local police department will have a safe drop box for discarding unused pain prescriptions.
- Restrict your activities the day of surgery and avoid strenuous activities for approximately 1 week.
- Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.
- DO NOT SMOKE
- Drink plenty of fluids (straws are perfectly fine)
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 30 minutes will assist in slowing the bleeding. A teabag can be used as a subsitute for gauze.
A blood clot will form in the empty socket. This is an important part of the healing process that allows the socket to fill with bone.
Avoid rinsing for 24 hours after the extraction to lessen the bleeding. Also avoid smoking or hot liquids.
If swelling is expected you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for 24-48 hours.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen and 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. Maintain good nutrition with soft (non-crunchy) foods.
Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for 24 hours. 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. You can purchase salt-water (Saline) bottles at your local pharmacy or mix 1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water. Rinse several times each day until the “holes” close.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, the bone defect will fill in (heal) and become smooth. This process can take many weeks.