What Are Tooth Extractions?
A tooth extraction is the professional removal of one or more of your teeth. A lot of patients worry about pain from tooth extractions but often this is due to the pain and toothache you might feel because of tooth decay and sensitivity. Once the damaged tooth has been removed, a lot of this pain is relieved.
Tooth extractions may be performed due to
- Crowding in the mouth
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Broken or damaged teeth
- Teeth with deep infections
At Woonona Dentists, our first priority is always to save a tooth but, if this is not possible, we would love to assist you with a professional tooth extraction.
Does A Tooth Extraction Hurt?
Your friendly dentist will administer anaesthetic before removing your tooth, and ensure the area is numb, to make the experience manageable. You might feel some pressure or tugging, but the purpose of the anaesthetic is to make it relatively painless.
What Should You Do After Your Tooth Extraction?
After an extraction you will have an open wound in your mouth, so your priorities will be managing the bleeding and keeping the area clean so it stays free of infection.
Your dentist will give you a piece of gauze to bite down on. The pressure from your bite can help to slow down the bleeding, but you may need to change the gauze if the bleeding is heavy.
Once the anaesthetic wears off, you may experience some discomfort and tenderness at the site. The area might bleed intermittently in the two or three days following your surgery but remember not to spit or touch the area with your tongue, as this could dislodge the blood clot that forms. If the blood clot comes out it can cause a very painful condition called dry socket.
Dry socket occurs when the tooth roots are exposed and have nothing to protect them against your saliva, hot and cold sensations, food and bacteria. It is very painful and can slow down your recovery. You will need to return to your dentist for treatment, which may include antibiotics and dressing of the wound.
Dry socket occurs more often in tooth extractions of the lower molars, in patients taking contraceptives and in smokers.
Your dentist will advise you not to brush your teeth or rinse for the first 24-hours, so as to avoid removing the blood clot. After the first 24 hours you will be able to rinse your mouth gently with salt solution.
Managing Pain And Inflammation
Swelling, bruising, tenderness and bleeding may be expected in the first few days after the extraction, but these side effects are usually mild and can be managed with a combination of painkillers and an ice pack, should your cheeks or gums feel swollen. Remember not to hold the ice to your skin for too long and only to apply it to the outside of your face.
Take It Easy
The more you rest, the quicker you will recover. Even if you don’t feel tired, give yourself a chance to rest and get some extra sleep. Avoid exercise and rigorous activity in the days after surgery.
Keep your mouth clean according to your dentist’s instructions, but avoid smoking as this can introduce bacteria into your mouth.
Remember to incorporate soft, easy to swallow foods into your diet after the surgery – but don’t skimp on eating, because you need nutrients to aid with recovery. Food like soup, stew, mashed potatoes and yoghurt are all easy to eat if your mouth is feeling sensitive. Don’t forget to keep yourself well hydrated by drinking lots of water but avoid hot and cold beverages, as well as drinking through a straw.
What To Do In Case Of An Emergency
Seven to ten days after the tooth extraction you should have recovered and be feeling like your old self again. In the event that you experience any of the following symptoms you should seek urgent medical advice:
- Extreme or worsened bleeding
- A fever
- Swelling that hasn’t improved or got worse
- Intense or unmanageable pain that doesn’t respond to medication
These symptoms could indicate that an infection is present, and it should be managed as soon as possible.
Still have questions or need to book a tooth extraction? Please get in touch with us: (02) 4210 9078.