Tooth Extraction, Recovery & Aftercare

happy dental extraction patient

Tooth extraction is sometimes a necessary component of practicing proper dental hygiene. It is necessary to repair concerns like tooth infections, decay, gum disease, physical trauma, overcrowding, etc.

As such, the experts at Village Green Dental Care would like you to know about tooth extraction, recovery, and aftercare.

The Process of Tooth Extraction

After you have received your prognosis and know your next steps, you schedule the procedure with your dentist or oral surgeon. During the extraction, your gums are numbed with a local anesthetic to ensure the procedure isn’t unduly harsh. However, if you need multiple extractions or if a child is undergoing the procedure, a general anesthetic may be used. This ensures sleep throughout the entire extraction process.

For simple tooth extraction, the dentist or oral surgeon will loosen the tooth with an elevator and then remove it with forceps. However, if the tooth is impacted or if a molar is being extracted, a surgical procedure becomes necessary. The dentist will use a scalpel to cut into the surrounding gum and bone tissue to properly expose the tooth. Then, they will use forceps to loosen and extract the tooth. An especially difficult procedure will involve the tooth being extracted in pieces, instead of all at once.

When the extraction is complete, a blood clot forms in the empty tooth socket. The dentist will pack the area will gauze to prevent bleeding and allow the clot to properly form. If necessary, stitches will be used to close up the opening.

tooth post-extraction surgery

Recovery After Extraction

Tooth extraction recovery will depend on the factors that influenced the tooth extraction. On average, pain following the extraction recedes after 3 days.

The blood clot that forms in the empty tooth socket must be maintained for as long as possible. Its presence prevents complications like dry sockets that will cause pain and lengthen the recovery period.

Be sure to get plenty of rest, especially in the first 24 hours after the tooth extraction.

What to Avoid Immediately After the Procedure

Change the gauze: Leaving the gauze in helps in blood clot formation, which is crucial in tooth extraction recovery. After the clot has formed, change the gauze when necessary.

Use cold compresses: An ice pack or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to the inflamed area for 10-20 minutes at a time. This will reduce pain and swelling.

Take medication: Pain relief medication can be used to relieve your discomfort. If the dentist prescribed any other medication after the procedure, complete the full course.

Elevate your head: Lying flat for too long will cause blood to gather in your head, prolonging your recovery. When you need to lie down, use extra pillows to make sure your head stays at an elevated position.

This is a list of a few things to avoid so as to not hamper your tooth extraction recovery:

Rinsing: Rinsing, swishing, and gargling liquids while you are healing is not advisable. Any of those actions can displace or remove the blood clot, leading to more bleeding.

Smoking and Straws: The suction necessary to drink through a straw or smoke a cigarette creates significant pressure in your mouth. That pressure can easily displace the blood clot in the empty tooth socket.

Spitting and Sneezing: These actions also create pressure that can remove the blood clot in your mouth. Blowing your nose during this time is also not recommended.

After 3 days have passed, the blood clot should have formed well enough to protect the socket. Between the 3rd and the 10th day, here are some things you can do to maintain your oral health:

Regular brushing and flossing: You need to maintain your regular teeth cleaning but make sure you avoid the empty socket. The blood clot is still delicate enough to be displaced by a brush or floss.

Rinse with Saline or Mouthwash: Gently rinsing your mouth with a medicated mouthwash or a saline solution will sufficiently sanitize the area where the extracted tooth previously stood. This kills any bacteria and helps prevent mouth infections.

Consume Soft Foods Only: Food that can become trapped in the empty socket, like chips, toast and fruit that contains seeds, should be avoided. Foods like soup, yogurt, applesauce, etc should be consumed instead.

Carefully following these guidelines will ensure that your tooth extraction recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

dental extraction patient shows off a job well done

Village Green Dental Care – Patient-Centered Care

Tooth extraction, recovery and aftercare is a delicate process that should not be taken lightly. Avoiding prolonged and painful recovery allows you to regain your dental health as quickly as possible.

Please contact us for any dental procedures you need. Village Green Dental Care provides the best dentistry services, general and cosmetic, available. Our team of highly-qualified professionals is experienced and dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best dental care possible.