A tooth extraction is often the last resort of dentists. Before a dentist considers this option, he or she will look into other procedures and try to repair and restore your tooth. Unfortunately, there will be instances wherein extraction is the only solution.
Tooth removal is always the recommended dental treatment when a person has severe tooth damage or trauma, or an incorrectly positioned, non-functioning and extra tooth. It is also the only solution for an impacted wisdom tooth.
Post Care Tips
Tooth removal is a routine dental procedure. However, keep in mind that it is still a form of oral surgery. As such, it is important to take extracted tooth care seriously to avoid any further complications or issues.
Below are six of the essential tooth extraction aftercare tips you have to follow:
- After the procedure, your dentist will put a piece of gauze over the extraction site. Bite down on it to stop the bleeding. This also helps in the formation of a blood clot. Keep the gauze in place for at least an hour. Make sure to change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
- Apply ice packs or a cold compress to the affected area once you get home to reduce swelling. Swelling rarely occurs after the removal of just one tooth but it has been known to happen. If the dentist removes more than one tooth, swelling usually develops one to two days after the surgery. When you apply ice or a really cold compress to the area on the day of the surgery, this will help lessen swelling.
- Avoid eating and drinking for two hours after the surgery or until the anesthetic wears off. Once you can eat again, eat only soft foods such as gelatin, pudding, mashed potato, squash, fruits, ice cream, or a thin soup. Stick to this diet for at least 24 hours after the extraction. As healing progresses, gradually add solid foods to your diet. Also, always chew your food with teeth that are far from the extraction site.
- After 24 hours following the extraction, gently rinse the socket with warm salt water — a mixture made of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Rinse with this after meals and before bed for at least five days after the procedure. Avoid rinsing too hard since this can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
- Brush and floss the other teeth as usual. However, keep away from the teeth and gum next to the extraction socket.
- Lastly, avoid any kind of physical or strenuous activity after the surgery since they may increase bleeding. When lying down, do not lie flat because this can prolong bleeding. Use some pillows to prop up your head.
In general, healing from a tooth extraction takes about five to seven days. The gum area will fully heal in three to four weeks’ time.
To get more information about a routine tooth extraction process or to schedule a consultation, get in touch with Dr. Aaron Nicholas and his staff at the Nicholas Dental Care center in Burtonsville, MD.