Tooth extraction in adults is a relatively common procedure. There are several reasons why your tooth may need to be removed, including tooth infection or decay; gum disease; damage from trauma, and crowded teeth.
You can schedule your tooth extraction with your dentist or oral surgeon. Prior to the procedure, your dentist will numb the area with a local anaesthetic to prevent you from experiencing pain. However, you will be fully aware of your surroundings. Also, if a child is getting a tooth removed or if an adult is having several teeth removed, your dentist may use a general anaesthetic. This means that your child or you will sleep through the entire procedure.
For a simple extraction, your dentist will use an instrument called an elevator to rock the tooth back and forth until it becomes loose. Your dentist will then remove the tooth with dental forceps. If you are getting a molar removed or if your teeth are impacted, you may need a surgical extraction. In these cases, your oral surgeon will make an incision to cut away the gum and bone tissue that covers the tooth or teeth. They will then use forceps to rock the tooth back and forth until it breaks away.
Once the tooth is removed, a blood clot will usually form in the socket. Your dentist or oral surgeon will then pack the socket with a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. In some instances, a few stitches may be necessary. There could be swelling and bruising at the site of the tooth extraction.
There are certain Do’s and Don’ts to be followed after tooth extraction. That is what we’ll discuss in this article…
Do’s after a Tooth Extraction
Here are some things to follow after tooth extraction for optimal tooth extraction aftercare:
- Rest: You should try to get plenty of rest after a tooth extraction, even though you may be feeling great. You should not exercise or indulge in too much activity for at least 24 hours. Also, you should keep your head in a slightly upright position on the pillow, when resting.
- Let it clot: You should let the clot form on the tooth extraction site. This clot covers the site and allows it to heal. After the procedure, your dentist will give you a piece of gauze to bite on near the site of the extraction. You should try to keep it in place and bite on it for at least an hour after the extraction. This will help put pressure on the wound and it will stop bleeding. However, you should not chew on the gauze piece and you should change it every half hour depending on the amount of bleeding. If the clot is dislodged from the extraction site, this exposes the nerves and capillaries, which then constrict and this prevents healing. If the bleeding still persists for a few hours after the procedure, try putting a wet tea bag on the tooth extraction site. The tannic acid in black tea will help speed up the clotting process.
- Apply an ice pack: You should apply an ice pack on the side of your face where the surgery was performed. This helps to reduce pain and swelling. The swelling after extraction may not occur immediately. However, the face may continue to swell for a few days after the extraction, reaching its maximum in 2 to 3 days. An application of the ice pack is most effective on the day of the extraction and there is no beneficial effect after 24 hours post-surgery. You can apply ice packs for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for about 1 to 2 hour time periods.
- Drink plenty of water: You should drink plenty of water once the blood clot is formed and about an hour after surgery. However, do not swish the water too much in your mouth and avoid drinking through a straw, as the sucking action could disturb and dislodge the newly-formed blood clot. After tooth extraction, you can also mix water with salt to create a saline solution. This can be moved gently around the area. However, do avoid spitting and let the excess saline solution fall out of your mouth into the sink naturally.
- Brush gently: You should brush your teeth gently and avoid brushing around the extraction. This will prevent the blood clot from dislodging but will also ensure the right mouth care.
- Eat on the other side: You should eat on the other side of your mouth. This is because it is important not to disturb the wound at the site of the tooth extraction so that it can heal. Eat soft foods, such as smoothies, yogurt, and soup. You should not eat hard foods till the anaesthetic wears off and your wound feels less sore. You can also consult with your dentist to ask when would be a good time to go back to your regular diet.
- Take pain medication as directed: You should follow your dentist’s instructions regarding pain medication completely. Also, you should not skip a dose just because you are feeling somewhat fine. You need to take every scheduled dose to ensure that the pain and discomfort do not recur or increase.
Don’ts after a Tooth Extraction
Here are some things to avoid after tooth extraction:
- Don’t smoke: You should not smoke for at least 48 hours after the surgery. The chemicals in the smoke can affect the clot and can result in a dry socket 3 to 4 days after the extraction.
- Don’t brush, floss or gargle immediately after: You should not brush, floss, or use an antibacterial mouthwash till your dentist says it is safe to do so. This is because if you brush your surgical site too soon after a tooth extraction, you run the risk of dislodging the blood clot that promotes proper healing after your tooth extraction.
- Don’t eat solids immediately after: While you experience numbness it is best not to eat solids. When you start feeling your jaws you can begin eating solids. After tooth extraction, take soft and liquid foods, such as soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes, and so on. You should also avoid hard and chewy foods, such as candies and crispy vegetables.
- Avoid Aspirin: With aspirin being a blood thinner, it will delay clot formation, thereby preventing healing. Take the medications as prescribed by your dentist and ask if you have any questions or concerns regarding medication.
- Avoid sucking of any type: Sipping and sucking are to be avoided after tooth extraction. This is because it can dislodge the clot and delay healing.
- Don’t poke into the gap created: For a few days after the tooth extraction the gap between your teeth may feel a bit awkward. However, do not poke that area with a toothpick or your tongue as it may delay healing may provoke bleeding, and may even lead to a dry socket.
- Don’t drink alcohol or carbonated drinks: It is advisable not to drink any fizzy drinks or alcohol for at least four days after the tooth extraction process. This is to avoid dislodging any blood clot that may form.
- Don’t exercise: This should be avoided for at least 48 hours after the tooth extraction. This is because high levels of activity increase your blood pressure and affect the clot, thereby resulting in excessive bleeding from the extraction site. Also, once excessive bleeding starts, it is difficult to stop it. You should avoid activities that increase your activity level, such as dancing, high levels of physical work, partying, and so on.
While these are some dos and don’ts after a tooth extraction surgery procedure for tooth extraction aftercare, it is imperative that you choose the right dentist for this procedure. At Vistadent, the orthodontic specialty clinic, we have some of the best dentists and oral surgeons, who will work closely with you to determine whether and when you need a tooth extraction.
They will also perform the tooth extraction procedure in the most skillful way imaginable. They will advise you as to what to do and not do after the surgery. They will also ensure that you undergo the least amount of pain before, during, and after the procedure.
So, if you need to get a tooth extracted, do not hesitate any longer. Do consult with Vistadent and put yourself through the least amount of pain during your tooth extraction procedure. There has never been a better time to schedule a tooth extraction…at Vistadent!
For more information about the tooth extraction procedure or any other dental problems, as well as other dental procedures, contact Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, at 040-23388111 or +91 9866572482 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at http://vistadent.net/.