You and your doctor 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 been broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth, as in the case of impacted teeth, or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems including decreased chewing ability, misalignment of the jaw joint, and shifting of teeth, all of which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, your doctor will in most cases discuss alternatives to extractions as well as options for replacement of the extracted tooth or teeth.
We provide multiple options for replacement of missing teeth. To learn more about some of these options, please explore the following links:
Home Care After Extraction
Some bleeding may occur and is normal. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this.
Blood Clot Formation
This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
Minor swelling is normal. If it occurs, you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and 20 minutes off. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain, you may take non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For more severe pain, we may recommend prescribed pain medications.
For most extractions, just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site.
Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed. Again, be careful to avoid forceful spitting when rinsing.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot either fails to form in the extraction socket or the clot has been dislodged, causing significant delay in the healing process.
Following post-operative instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn't appear until three to four days after the extraction. In some cases, the pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site to appear dry.
After a tooth has been extracted, there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth once was. In time, this will fill in with bone and smooth over. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1 - 2 weeks you should notice little to no inconvenience.