There may come a time that a tooth needs to be extracted or pulled. A tooth may be extracted if it:
In many instances you may be a candidate for a dental implant or a series of implants. The implant replaces the root where the tooth has been extracted and then has an implant crown secured to replace the missing tooth. In other cases a bridge is suggested.
In any instance, unless the extraction is due to orthodontic needs or it is an impacted wisdom tooth, it is important to know that not only are aesthetics at issue; even the removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint (TMJ dysfunction) and shifting teeth, all of which can have a major impact on your dental health.
During the extraction process you may feel pressure; however you should not experience discomfort.
If you do feel uncomfortable at any time during the extraction procedure, please let us know right away.
Sectioning a tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can't expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After tooth extraction, we will ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes so a blood clot can form. It's important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. If the bleeding still persists, we will place another gauze pad and have you bite firmly for another 15 minutes. You may have to do this several times. However, it is normal for some slight oozing to continue.
After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 48 hours. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some discomfort and experience and some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn't seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food chewing away from the extraction site on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
Following the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. 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 (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed. After 24 hours you may resume your normal dental routine. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two-three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 404-874-6464.
Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post-extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn't appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.
Should this occur please call our office for further instructions.
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