04 Mar Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Our team of professionals at Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert has performed tooth extractions on hundreds of patients. We make extractions as painless as possible. And we know how to ensure a speedy recovery process. Here is our guide for tooth extraction aftercare.
When is a tooth extraction necessary?
Tooth extractions are a last resort. Dentists don’t consider removing a tooth unless it is irreparably damaged. Conditions that might warrant an extraction include:
- Impacted teeth. Most people need their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens or early twenties. The surgery is usually done when wisdom teeth are impacted, or misaligned. Neither impaction nor misalignment are unique to wisdom teeth.
- Cracks, breakage, or trauma. Teeth are delicate and can be affected by countless things. Some people are genetically predisposed to weak teeth. Alternatively, long periods of poor dental care can cause teeth to crack or break easily. Or an accident may cause a tooth to become dislodged. Extractions might be called for in these cases.
- Severe decay. A tooth with an abscess in the pulp is not always worth saving. In fact, allowing it to remain in your mouth could cause extreme complications.
- Significant gum disease. While gingivitis is a reversible condition, it turns into periodontitis when left untreated. Periodontitis cannot be cured, and wreaks havoc on both the gums and teeth. In severe cases, tooth loss can occur.
As you can see, most of these issues can be avoided by maintaining good oral hygiene. Your teeth are valuable—we want you to keep them!
The Tooth Extraction Process
An extraction is a surgical procedure. Here’s what you can expect during a tooth extraction:
- You’ll be given local anesthesia, as with any surgery of this type.
- While you’re asleep, the surgeon will numb your nerves around the tooth with gel.
- The dental surgeon will detach the tooth from its periodontal ligament that attaches it to the gums.
- You will come out of the anesthesia. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics and pain medications to take at home. When you wake up, you’ll be disoriented. Make sure you bring someone to drive you home!
The length of the procedure depends on the number of teeth and the position of said teeth. A wisdom tooth extraction is more involved because wisdom teeth are not readily visible. If you need a front tooth extracted, the process may go a bit faster.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After most extractions, expect to be down and out for a few days. Swelling, aches, and excessive sleepiness are normal. If these persist for any longer, however, give us a call.
When you’re recovering from a tooth extraction, you need to follow a strict set of rules. This will keep you healthy and make the healing process quick and easy.
1. Keep the gauze in place.
Don’t let the gauze that the dentist put in your mouth become dislodged. Keep it in until the bleeding stops.
2. Take your medication as directed.
The antibiotics are to prevent infection, so they’re extremely important to take exactly as prescribed. The painkillers will also come in handy, as you’ll be sore for a few days.
3. Take a day or two off of work.
Anesthesia knocks you out for hours. Plan to get plenty of rest after the extraction.
4. Apply ice.
Apply an ice pack to the areas that continue to swell and ache.
5. Eat soft foods.
The day of the extraction, it’s wisest to stick to a liquid diet (but avoid straws). In the following days, you can gradually work in softer foods until the wound is healed.
Friendly Dentist in Gilbert
If you have questions about tooth extractions or tooth extraction aftercare, contact our team at Lifetime Family Dental. Whether you need an extraction or an exam, our friendly dentists and hygienists are committed to providing you and your family with the highest level of dental care.