Tips for Recovering from a Tooth Extraction

Having a tooth removed is a very common dental procedure. Even though dentists perform extractions routinely, you must take care of your mouth following the procedure to avoid complications. That’s why it’s important to learn to perform aftercare correctly following a tooth extraction in Burlington.

Why are tooth extractions necessary?

Adults’ teeth are intended to be permanent, but that’s not always the case. Gum disease, trauma and injuries, infection and crowded teeth often make extractions necessary. Your dentist will help you decide if extraction is the best course of action for you.

How are extractions performed?

Your dentist will first numb your mouth using an anesthetic medication. Children and people having more than one tooth removed may opt to have general anesthesia or IV sedation during the procedure. These options will allow you to sleep through the extraction so you don’t remember anything.

Once your mouth is numb, the dentist will gently rock the tooth back and forth until it becomes loose. Then, he or she will use dental forceps to remove it from your mouth. Some extractions are more complicated. Teeth that are impacted below the gum line require a surgical extraction. After the tooth is removed, a blood clot will form in the empty socket. The dentist will pack the socket with gauze to stop bleeding. In some cases, stitches may be required.

Aftercare for a tooth extraction in Burlington

You’ll need about 7-10 days before your mouth is healed from the tooth extraction. The most important thing is keeping the blood clot in place during the healing period. Otherwise, you could develop a painful dry socket. This is the most common complication related to an extraction. When the blood clot isn’t there to protect the socket, tissue, nerves, and bone are exposed, causing pain that may not be alleviated with over-the-counter remedies.

You’ll know if you’ve developed a dry socket if you have the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain that isn’t relieved by ibuprofen or acetaminophen,
  • Pain on the side of your face where the tooth was pulled,
  • No blood clot over the socket,
  • Visible bone in your socket,
  • Bad smell or taste along with pus in your mouth,

The faster the site heals, the less you have to worry about developing a dry socket. Speed up the healing process by doing the following:

  • Take painkillers as recommended by your dentist.
  • Eat soft foods like pudding, soup and applesauce.
  • Leave the gauze pad in place for three to four hours following the procedure.
  • Use a cold compress immediately following the procedure. Leave it on your face for about 10 minutes at a time.
  • Don’t rinse, spit or use a straw for 24 hours after the extraction; rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution after 24 hours.
  • Refrain from smoking.
  • Prop your head up with pillows when sleeping.
  • Brush and floss normally, but avoid the extraction site until fully healed.

Get in touch with us!

If you have a problem tooth and need to schedule a tooth extraction in Burlington, contact our office for an appointment. We have 60 years’ experience providing top-quality dental care and look forward to taking care of you!

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