You and Dr. Adams 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. Adams will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth.

The Extraction Process

At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.

During the extraction process, you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.

You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.

If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.

Sectioning a tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

Post-Operative Care After Tooth Extraction

Proper oral hygiene after surgery is extremely important, since good care can help the healing process and prevent later complications such as infection.  Please read these instructions and follow them carefully for a faster, easier recovery.

  • Almost all oral surgery causes swelling.  Don’t be too worried about the swelling it should be gone or greatly reduced in three or four days.  If the swelling persists please call for a follow-up examination.
  •  An ice pack during the first 8 hours after surgery may be used to help keep the swelling to a minimum (on for 20 minutes, off for 20 minutes).  Do not brush or floss the area around the surgery site for 24 hours.
  •   Do not brush or floss the area around the surgery site for 24 hours but brush and floss the remaining areas of your mouth. 
  •  You may rinse out your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day starting the following morning. (1/2 teaspoon salt added to glass of warm water.)
  •  Avoid very hot foods and liquids.
  •  To minimize the pain when eating, avoid foods that require strenuous chewing, are hard or have seeds.  Liquids and soft foods cause less pain and minimize the chance of damage to tender areas.  Drink plenty of fluids.
  •  Take the medication your doctor has prescribed for pain but do not take it more often than necessary.  If an antibiotic has been prescribed, it must be taken regularly to be effective.
  •  Call our office if you begin to bleed more than a small amount.  A little bleeding is to be expected, especially on the first day.  .  Continue to bite down on the gauze pad for the amount of time Dr. Adams has prescribed. 

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. 

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing.  Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 24 hours.  These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process.  Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling.  An ice pack, covered with a cloth, applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum.  Take pain medications as prescribed.  The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. 

Use the pain medication as directed.  If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. 

Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction.  It is best to wait until after the local anesthetic has completely worn off before beginning to eat a full meal.  You may eat anything soft and cool the first day by chewing away from the extraction site.  Do not drink hot fluids or eat hot foods the first day.  Do not use straws as this may encourage more bleeding.  Avoid hard, crunchy foods and foods with seeds.  As soon as you are comfortable, progress to more solid foods.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours.  This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day.  This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

As soon as you feel comfortable you can resume your normal activities.  If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after 3 days, or an adverse reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.