Guide to Tooth Extraction & Recovery
Tooth decay or damage, crowded teeth, and gum diseases are some of the conditions where tooth extraction becomes inevitable. Here are some tips to guide you through the process and recovery period.
The Basics of Tooth Extraction
The oral surgeon or dentist numbs the site of the extraction with a local anesthetic. They cut away the gum and bone tissue if the tooth is impacted.
Using forceps, the dentist will rock the tooth back and forth until it is loosened sufficiently to be extracted. However, if the tooth proves difficult to remove, the dentist may need split and remove the tooth in pieces.
After the tooth is pulled, a blood clot will form inside the socket. The dentist places a gauze pad over it, and the patient gently bites down to stop the bleeding. The dentist might also stitch the gum over the extraction site.
Tooth extraction though safe might present opportunities for infections to occur. Hence, patients at higher risks of infection due to other underlying conditions may need antibiotics before and after the procedure. The patient’s full medical history should be referred to before the extraction.
It usually takes patients a few days to fully recover. The patients can request for painkillers if the pain is intense. Gently biting down on the gauze pad will help stop bleeding and encourage the formation of a clot. Leave the pad in place as long as advised by the dentist. An ice pack can be applied to reduce swelling. Patients need at least a day to relax after the procedure.
Do not rinse or spit in the six hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot. Smoking is not advised as it slows healing. Eat only soft foods and gradually incorporate harder foods as the site heals.