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 process—we will use anesthesia such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation to ensure you’re comfortable. 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 I prevent dry socket after a 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 cause pain, this is called dry socket.
Tips for avoiding dry socket:
- Avoid straws or anything that creates a suction movement of air and cheek muscles.
- Do not consume any form of tobacco. Smoking tobacco results in fast inhalation that can dislodge your blood clot and the chemicals may prevent healing or cause an infection.
- Eat soft foods only like applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes for the first one or two days.
- Inquire about any medicines you’re taking to ensure they don’t interact with the healing process.
- Use proper oral hygiene to keep your mouth clean and consider an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on proper oral care to improve recovery time.
How painful is it to have a tooth extraction?
Because anesthesia is used during all tooth extraction procedures, you shouldn’t feel any pain during surgery. Once surgery is over and the anesthesia starts to wear off, you’ll feel some pain but can take over-the-counter pain medication to manage this. For more extensive tooth extractions, your dentist will prescribe stronger pain relievers.
On average, pain from a tooth extraction should decrease after three days. If it doesn’t, contact your dentist so they can check the extraction site to make sure it’s healing properly and there’s no sign of infection.
When do tooth extractions heal?
Most simple tooth extractions should heal within 7 to 10 days. Surgical tooth extractions and wisdom tooth removals can take several weeks to heal.
What are good soft foods to eat after tooth extractions/oral surgery?
It’s important to be gentle with your mouth after having a tooth extraction procedure. This means you’ll need to avoid hard and crunchy foods such as chips and crackers since they could disturb the extraction wound. Some good soft foods to consider eating after oral surgery include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed potatoes
- Blended soups
- Cottage cheese
What are you waiting for?
We strive to provide high-quality dental care. Schedule an appointment today to discuss whether dentures are right for you.