Tooth Extraction

While tooth extraction is not usually the first option for treating dental disorders, sometimes a tooth may need to be removed.

Why Would I Need A Tooth Extracted

There are many reasons why you might need a tooth extracted, such as;

  • Broken teeth
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Relief of toothache pain
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Dental abscesses

Before A Tooth Extraction

It is vital to let your dentist know a few things before you go through with a dental extraction such as medication and supplements you take, or any medical conditions that put you at a high risk of infection such as;

  • Damaged man made heart valves
  • impaired immune system
  • liver disease
  • artificial joint (a knee or hip replacement)
  • Congenital heart defect
  • History of bacterial endocarditis

The Extraction Process

The extraction procedure may or may not involve surgery. The procedure will be determined by the patient’s health, age, the location of the tooth and the complexity of the root/s. all our dental therapies, especially dental extractions, use local anaesthetics to ensure your comfort before the actual treatment begins. After the area is numbed, your dentist removes the infected tooth and prescribes any necessary medications to ease the pain or clear up infections. During the tooth extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. You won’t feel any pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves, stopping the transference of pain.

After The Tooth Is Extracted

After the tooth is extracted it is vital that a blood clot forms to the stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. The dentist will pack the tooth socket with some gauze, and you will be asked to bite down on the gauze to lessen the bleeding. You will have to bite down on the gauze for about 30-45 minutes immediately after the tooth has been extracted. Then we will give you another set of gauze (in case bleeding persists), along with a list of instructions on what you can and cannot do for the next 24-48 hours. Instructions such as;

  • Take it easy for a minimum of 24 hours (no heavy lifting or going back to work the same day the tooth is extracted)
  • Continue to bite down on the gauze for at least three hours to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form. Replace soaked gauze as necessary.
  • Apply ice immediately after tooth extraction and at 10-minute intervals.
  • Don’t rinse, spit forcibly, or drink from a straw for 24 hours.
  • Eat soft foods like yogurt, soups, and applesauce. Slowly add solid foods as the tooth extraction site heals.
  • No drinking alcohol for the next 24-48 hours
  • Take painkillers as directed by your dentist.
  • Don’t lie flat. Prop your head up on pillows to lessen bleeding.
  • After 24 hours, rinse with a solution of ½ teaspoon of salt mixed into 1 cup of warm water.
  • Avoid the tooth extraction site when brushing and flossing your other teeth.

When To Call The Dentist

It’s normal to feel some pain after the anesthetic wears off, for the next 24 hours after a tooth is pulled you should expect some swelling and residual bleeding. But if you experience any of these symptoms below you should call the dentist immediately;

  • Fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Severe pain, swelling, or bleeding after the first four hours
  • Coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the extraction site
  • Nausea or vomiting

Do not forget to continue on maintaining your dental hygiene, it is very important for your other teeth as well as the healing process. The initial healing period usually takes one to two weeks. New bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap. However, over time having a tooth (or teeth) missing can cause the remaining teeth to move, affecting your bite, or making it difficult to chew. For that reason, your dentist may advise replacing the missing tooth or teeth with an implant, fixed bridge, or denture.