While it’s always our goal to care for and maintain your natural teeth, there are cases when removing a tooth is in your best interest. We work to make extractions as easy as possible so you can concentrate on a quick recovery.
The Process of Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is typically a very fast and pain free process—we use anesthesia to ensure you’re comfortable during the procedure. The most critical part of the process is recovery. We need to ensure we control the bleeding and encourage a proper healing process immediately following the tooth extraction. This involves having you bite down on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes to form a blood clot—you must be extremely careful not to disturb the blood clot for the next 24 hours. To manage the swelling, we recommend an ice pack on the outer cheek, and once the swelling has gone down, a warm compress to the same area for comfort. Gentle rinses with warm salt water also help keep the extraction area clean.
How do you prevent dry socket after tooth extraction?
When you have a tooth extracted, you develop a blood clot shortly after the surgery to begin the healing process. If this blood clot becomes dislodged before your mouth has fully healed it can expose the bone and can cause pain, this is called dry socket.
Tips For Preventing Dry Socket
- Avoid straws or anything that creates a suction movement of air and cheek muscles.
- Avoid smoking tobacco, marijuana or vaping as fast inhalation can dislodge your blood clot and the chemicals may prevent healing or cause an infection. We would strongly encourage you to wait until more than one week after extraction.
- Only eat soft foods like applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes for the first day or two.
- Ask us about any medicines you’re taking to ensure they don’t negatively impact the healing process.
- Practice proper oral hygiene to keep your mouth clean and use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on proper oral care to improve recovery time.
Does dry socket heal on its own?
Dry socket is often very painful and puts you at an increased risk of infection and can extend the healing process. Our office can create a medicated gauze on the socket to reduce pain. Dry sockets will recover naturally as long as proper care instructions are followed and an infection is avoided.
When and why are wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to develop, and they grow in the very back of the mouth. In most cases, you will start to feel these teeth emerge when you are in your late teens or early twenties. Almost everyone has these teeth removed since they tend to grow at a severely slanted angle and will likely bump into other teeth and cause crowding. There is also very little space available for these teeth. Ultimately, about 85% of adults end up having their wisdom teeth removed.Learn About Removing Wisdom Teeth
What causes the need for tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. Tooth extraction usually occurs when a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay and there is too much damage for the tooth to be repaired by a filling or crown.
However, there are other reasons for tooth extraction including, extra teeth growing in that are blocking others, baby teeth that haven’t fallen out in time for the permanent teeth to come in, braces, or wisdom teeth that are commonly removed for medical reasons.
Questions About Tooth Extractions?
If you have any questions about tooth extractions or for a consultation—contact us or schedule your appointment using the link below, or explore the numerous other dental services we offer.