Extractions & Post Operative Care
Each individual tooth is important to the structure of the jaw and health of the surrounding teeth. For this reason, we will most often attempt to save the natural tooth using procedures such as fillings, inlays and onlays, build-ups and crowns or root canals. However, there are several possible reasons we might recommend extracting a tooth instead of saving it.
1) There can be so much decay in the tooth that it can not be restored and may endanger the surrounding teeth and jaw. In this case we will recommend the removal of the tooth and replacing it with a bridge, dental implant, or removable partial denture.
2) A primary (baby) tooth can cause problems if it does not fall out as it should. Most often, this is because it was not shaped correctly or it has too long of a root. It will be important to remove the primary (baby) tooth to make room for the permanent tooth to erupt.
3) Misaligned or impacted teeth (such as the Wisdom Teeth) can cause pain or discomfort and affect the alignment of the rest of the jaw.
With most extractions, a local anesthetic will be all that is needed to make the procedure comfortable. While this procedure is generally very fast, please share any concerns with Drs. Warren & Hardee.
When a tooth has been removed, nearby teeth may move and cause problems with chewing or with your jaw joint. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth with a dental implant.
Dental implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth because they mimic the natural tooth root as opposed to simply bridging the gap as with Bridges. Because they replace the tooth root, they prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting and interfering with proper jaw function.
Home Care Instructions Following the Extraction of a Tooth
Bleeding may occur following the extraction and can persist for several hours to a couple of days.
It is important that you DO NOT rinse. Rinsing will wash away the blood clot that starts the healing process.
If you have been given gauze to take home with you bite down gently on the gauze for 20 minutes. Replace the gauze at the end of 20 minutes and replace with fresh gauze. Continue to do this until the gauze is all used up.
If bleeding is heavy, please call the office or the emergency number on the office answering machine.
Remember, DO NOT rinse with ANYTHING for the first 24 hours.
Once the first 24 hours has elapsed, rinse gently with the prescribed mouth wash. Rinse gently, not aggressively.
Swelling is common after tooth extraction and may reach it’s peak in 2-3 days. Remember, swelling does not mean infection.
You may place an ice pack over the area for 20 minutes. Remove it for 20 minutes, place in the freezer and then replace for 20 minutes. Do this for the first 24-48 hours.
Please take any prescribed medications faithfully. These medications will reduce the risk of infection and speed up the healing process.
If any medication does not agree with you, please call us for an alternative medication.
Eat soft, easy to chew foods for the first post operative week. Chew on the opposite side from which the tooth was removed. We suggest foods such as soup, scrambled eggs, pasta, oatmeal, etc.
Do not eat foods that very hot for the first 24 hours. Try to eat cool foods or foods at room temperature.