What to Expect After Tooth Extractions

Tooth ExtractionsWhen you are learning what to expect following tooth extractions, you first have to know about the specific types of extractions that are available for dental treatment. You will then learn what you can expect from the procedure, how you will feel following the procedure, and what steps are necessary to have the healthiest mouth possible.

Surgical Extractions Like Wisdom Teeth Removal

Tooth extractions are useful for many reasons. A common type of extraction is a wisdom teeth removal. A wisdom teeth removal is a surgical extraction of the third molars that have yet to erupt through the gums. Since wisdom teeth are a type of molar that does not erupt until years after the others, they are far in the back of your mouth, where they may not be necessary if the rest of your teeth have grown in and are healthy. During surgical extractions for wisdom teeth or teeth that have broken off around the gum line and cannot be removed by a simple extraction, a tiny incision will need to be made in your gum line to begin the removal. After the removal, the area will be sutured. You will most likely be heavily sedated for any type of surgical extraction.

Simple Extractions

For a simple extraction, no incision will necessary because your tooth is usually visible above the gum line. In this situation, an instrument known as an elevator is used to gently loosen the tooth, and then forceps will finish the removal process. In most cases, only local anesthetics will be necessary for a simple extraction, and your healing time will be much shorter. Some common reasons for simple extractions are:

  • a tooth is infected and may cause infection in adjacent teeth and gums
  • a baby tooth will not fall out and needs to be removed for a permanent tooth to grow in
  • a tooth is too damaged or chipped to fix
  • a tooth needs to be removed for successful orthodontic treatment.

What to Expect After Extractions

Both types of extractions require healing time. While you may experience slight discomfort during your recovery, it won't last long and it will be mild and easy to combat. You may receive an anti-inflammatory or prescription pain reliever, or you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever, as long as it is not a blood thinner like aspirin (unless otherwise directed). Directly after extractions, a dentist will place gauze on the incision site if applicable and will ask you to put slight pressure on the area to limit bleeding until a clot can form. If you notice facial swelling, an ice pack can help reduce inflammation.

You will also benefit from eating soft foods and only chewing the food on the other side of your mouth. Do not use a straw at this time, as it can dislodge the blood clot. You may also rinse your mouth out gently with salt water to help keep the area clean. You will be given other directions before the extraction. You may also need to come back for a follow-up visit so we can monitor your healing progress.

These are the basics of what you can expect after tooth extractions. To learn more about tooth extractions, call to schedule an appointment today.

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