At all cost, we try to avoid removing a natural tooth. However, there are several situations that make tooth removal the best solution. Whether you have severe decay or need teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons, you can trust Grateful Dental to provide a positive experience. This includes informing our patients about the procedure and the recovery.
Types of Dental Extractions
In general, there are two basic types of tooth extraction. The first is a simple tooth extraction, which is performed when the targeted tooth is visible above the gum line and can be removed using special dental tools. The second type of tooth extraction is a surgical tooth extraction, which means an incision must be made in the gums to locate the tooth and extract it. This is often the case with impacted wisdom teeth.
Extracting a tooth is one of the more invasive dental procedures. However, it doesn’t have to be painful, and there are things you can do to facilitate a faster and smoother recovery at home.
How to Recovery from Your Tooth Extraction
Every situation is different. However, the general timeline of full recovery from a single tooth extraction is about 7 days. You’ll be given a detailed list of post-operative instructions when you leave the dental office. It is important that you have a heads up on these recommendations so that you are prepared. This can include having soft-foods on hand or clearing your schedule so that you can rest the first couple of days afterwards. Your recovery greatly depends on the type and number of dental extractions that you had.
Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to tooth removal recovery:
DO take any necessary pain medication
According to Healthline, it is common for patients to feel discomfort, soreness or pain after an extraction. In most cases, an over-the-counter pain reliever is enough for the first few days of discomfort. However, ask your dentist if you are not getting relief and think you may need a prescription.
DO leave the gauze in place for a few hours after the extraction
It may be uncomfortable to leave in your soggy gauze after your extraction. However, there is a good reason it is there. The gauze helps to ensure a blood clot forms at the extraction site. This clot is a significant part of the healing process and helps to prevent a painful condition called dry socket.
DO rest, ice and eat soft foods
Plan to take it easy and rest for the first 24 hours after your extraction. If you have minor swelling, an ice pack can be used on the area for short intervals. You should stick to a soft-foods diet for the first few days, such as oatmeal, pudding, mashed potatoes or smoothies.
DO NOT use a straw
With all the liquids and soft foods, it can be tempting to use a straw after your procedure. However, this can disrupt the blood clot and drastically delay your healing.
DO NOT rinse too soon
While you may want to, avoid rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours, as the extraction site needs to be left alone for this initial time period.
DO NOT brush the area
Another action that can disturb the blood clot is brushing. Brushing around the extracted area needs to be avoided for at least 12 hours.
Do NOT smoke
Patients are strongly encouraged to stop smoking before their tooth removal procedure as well as during their post-operative period. Not only is the act of inhaling a cigarette harmful to the extraction site but nicotine is also a vasoconstrictor, which limits blood flow and impedes proper healing within your oral tissues.
Scheduling Your Tooth Extraction
Are you in need of a tooth extraction or have this procedure scheduled? Let us help you understand what you can expect. We value the importance of providing state-of-the-art treatments while you are in our office as well as extending our care and attention to patients who will continue to heal and recover at home. If you have questions about dental extractions or how you can improve your recovery process, call Grateful Dental in Marietta.