You and Dr. Dahl may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Dahl will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Biting on a gauze pad immediately after the appointment will help control the bleeding. Extra gauze will be sent with you. You may have to change the gauze several times to stop the flow of blood. Change the dressing every 30 to 40 minutes or as needed depending on the amount of bleeding that is occurring. If bleeding continues, moisten a tea bag with water, fold in half and bite on it for approximately 30 minutes. Tea contains Tannic Acid which accelerates blood clotting.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot.
- Avoid brushing around the extraction site for 3-4 days. Do not use mouthwash or toothpaste the first 24 hours.
- Do not rinse vigorously. If you need to spit, lean over the sink and let the liquid drizzle out.
- Do not drink from a straw.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products for 4-5 days. To do so may break down the blood clot, as well as slow the healing process.
- Limit vigorous exercise for 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding at the extraction site.
- No heavy lifting or bending over.
To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn to the area for the first 12 to 24 hours. Alternate, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Maximal swelling starts to reduce after 4-5 days.
Get plenty of rest for the first 24 hours. Elevating the head slightly when lying down also helps reduce swelling and helps with post-operative pain.
A recommendation of medication will be suggested to you to help reduce the pain. An antibiotic or pharmaceutical drug may be prescribed to you for pain. Take these prescriptions as directed. Do not drive while taking prescription pain medication as you may feel drowsy.
Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. Examples: Jell-o, pudding, yogurt, bananas, mashed potatoes, fruit/vegetable juice, whey protein shakes. Avoid hot liquids. Cream of wheat, coffee and clear soups should be lukewarm.
When moving on to solid foods: cut food into small pieces to ease chewing. Cook to soften or blend healthy but hard -to-chew foods such as apples and carrots. Avoid foods that are small and sharp and can impact the extraction site such as popcorn, nuts, rice, etc. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
After a few days, you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.