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What to Expect After Tooth Extractions
When you are learning what to expect following tooth extractions, you first have to know what type of tooth removal procedure is being performed. You will then learn about what you can expect from the procedure, about how you will feel following the procedure, and what step you should take next to have the healthiest mouth possible.
Surgical Extractions Like Wisdom Teeth Removal
Teeth are removed for many reasons. A common type of extraction is a wisdom teeth removal. This procedure is known as a surgical extraction because the tooth being removed has not actually erupted through the gums. This is common with wisdom teeth. 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 needed 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.
For a simple extraction, no incision will need to be made because your tooth is usually visible above the gum line. In this situation, an instrument called an elevator is used to gently loosen the tooth, and then a dental tool called forceps will finish the removal process. In most cases, only local anesthetics will be needed 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, gauze will be placed on the incision site if applicable and you will be asked to put slight pressure on the area to limit bleeding until a clot can form. If you notice facial swelling, an ice pack can be used to reduce inflammation.
You should eat soft foods and only chew on the side of your mouth that has not been recently worked on. Do not use a straw at this time, as it can dislodge the blood clot. You may be told to rinse your mouth out gently with saltwater to help keep the area clean. Other directions will be given when you visit for your appointment before extractions. 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 having a tooth or teeth removed, call to schedule an appointment today.