The most common reason for extraction is tooth damage due to breakage or decay. There are additional reasons for tooth extraction:
- Severe tooth decay or infection (acute or chronic alveolar abscess).
- Extra teeth which are blocking other teeth from coming in.
- Severe gum disease which may affect the supporting tissues and bone structures of teeth.
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces)
- Teeth which cannot be restored endodontically (by a root canal)
- Fractured teeth
- Supenumerary, supplementary or malformed teeth
Once you and the doctor have decided that a tooth is not savable and needs to be extracted, the doctor will numb the tooth and the surrounding areas so you are comfortable. During the extraction, you may feel the sensation of pressure, but you should not feel pain.
If at anytime during the procedure you should feel pain, the doctor will stop and administer more anesthetic to allow for you to properly and comfortably get numbed. Once the tooth is lifted out of the socket, gauze is placed in the space for you to bite down on with pressure until the bleeding slows down or stops.
*If a tooth is extracted, further treatment may be indicated to replace the space such as a partial, denture, bridge or implant. Replacing the spaces allows the patient to functionally chew food and restore the space from the missing tooth. This will also help prevent the other teeth from shifting.
Day of Extraction:
- After an extraction it is important to develop a blood clot in the extraction site for proper healing. Bite down on gauze for 1 hour to help a clot form in the socket. Try to keep the original gauze in place, changing only if the gauze becomes saturated.
- Once the gauze is removed, DO NOT sip through a straw, spit forcefully or smoke for the first 48 hours. You do not want to loosen the blood clot and restart bleeding at the extraction site.
- Maintain a diet of soft foods for the first 24 hours and chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the extraction. We recommend avoiding any foods that could get lodged in or jab the extraction site (chips, popcorn, etc.) and avoiding eating utensils that could do the same.
- Avoid rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, we recommend doing warm salt water rinses for one week.
- Slight bleeding during the first 24 hours is normal. If bleeding continues, seems excessive or if you have any other concerns, please call the office. An emergency phone number is available if you need to reach the doctor after office hours.
- Some discomfort is normal after surgery. Analgesic tablets (e.g. Aspirin, Tylenol, etc.) may be taken. We recommend 800 mg ibuprofen every 6-8 hours as needed.
- If you were given a prescription for antibiotics, please have them filled right after your appointment and start taking them the same day.
- If you were prescribed pain medicine, follow the prescription directions and take as needed.
Take all medications ONLY as they are prescribed and finish all rounds of antibiotics.
72 Hours After Extraction:
If you are experiencing discomfort or pain after 72 hours, you may be developing a dry socket. Please contact the office so that you can receive necessary treatment.
If any of the following occurs, please call the office immediately or seek medical attention:
- You have heavy bleeding that continues beyond 24 hours.
- You develop an elevated temperature above 101.5 that cannot be controlled by ibuprofen.
- You experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction (swelling, rash, difficulty breathing)