Tooth Extraction Aftercare: Here’s What You Need to Know
Having to undergo a dental extraction can make anyone feel a bit overwhelmed. The idea most of us have about a tooth extraction mainly revolves around the concept that these procedures are undoubtedly painful and unnecessary.
Tooth extractions, in reality, are not painful procedures and, in most cases, are performed when all the alternative dental procedures to save your natural tooth have been ruled out. An extraction sometimes is the only viable solution a patient has to get rid of an infection or decay and improve their oral health.
A tooth extraction refers to a painless dental procedure that involves the eradication of a tooth while inflicting the least amount of trauma to the adjacent tissues.
Why Are Tooth Extractions Necessary?
Here are some of the reasons why our dentist may recommend a tooth extraction procedure:
- To remedy impacted teeth
- To eradicate severely damaged teeth. The damage may be due to a traumatic incident or severe tooth decay
- To prepare for an orthodontic procedure or treatment plan particularly if you have crowded teeth
- To get rid of an extensive tooth infection that cannot be remedied by a tooth canal procedure
- In case a patient has a compromised immune system and stand at risk of being infected by a particular tooth
- To remove teeth that have come loose due to periodontal diseases or conditions
After undergoing a tooth extraction, our dentist will recommend a few guidelines for you to follow once you get home. These guidelines are meant to make sure that your recovery after the procedure will be smooth and speedy.
Sticking to these instructions will help guarantee that the extraction site heals and seals up as it should, and also that you will not suffer from any infection or complication that may impede your healing process.
Guidelines on Tooth Extraction Aftercare
The extraction site should ideally heal within 7 to 10 days after the procedure. During this time, it is essential to ensure that you do all you can to promote clotting and sealing of the extraction site.
Not adhering to these guidelines can expose you to painful post-procedural complications such as dry socket or infections.
These are some of the things you can do to make sure your recovery will be complication-free and easier:
- Leave the Gauze on the Site as Instructed
After the procedure, our dentist will use a clean piece of gauze to stop the bleeding from the extraction area and help initiate the clotting process. You should leave the gauze on for approximately 30 minutes after your procedure, depending on the amount of bleeding you are experiencing.Doing so will facilitate the clotting process and curb the bleeding.
You can change the gauze in half an hour intervals until a clot forms. When it forms, refrain from disturbing the site in any way to avoid dislodging the formed clot.
- Get Plenty of Rest
Ensure you get lots of rest after your procedure and avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity within the first 24-hours post procedure. Your head should be slightly elevated whenever you are resting.
- Apply Ice Packs to Reduce Inflammation
You can apply an icepack for the next 48 hours after the procedure to reduce the inflammation, discomfort, and bruising that may accompany an extraction. These icepacks should be used intermittently every 15 minutes onto the affected area of your face.
Leaving icepacks on your face for longer intervals can lead to tissue damage.
- Watch What You Eat
Once the bleeding ceases, you can stay hydrated by taking some warm or lukewarm liquids; however, you should avoid taking carbonated drinks. It is also vital to steer clear of solids until your site is clotted.
You can take soft or liquid food such as soup, yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes, and mashed potatoes. Avoid foods that tend to get stuck in between teeth such as nuts and popcorns and gradually work your way into taking a solid diet once your jaws feel like they can handle it.
- Take Your Prescribed Medication
Our dentist will prescribe some painkillers to keep you a bit comfortable by reducing pain and inflammation, as the extraction site continues to seal and heal. You should stick to the prescription and avoid skipping out on any of the drugs, especially if an antibiotic was prescribed.
However, if the pain persists three days after the procedure, you should notify our dentist immediately as this may indicate an infection.
- Keep Your Oral Cavity Clean
Brush and floss your teeth regularly, but avoid interfering with the extraction site. You can also use a warm saline rinse to ensure the site stays clean and hygienic. Doing so will reduce the chances of facing an infection on the extraction site.
- Avoid smoking within the first 48 hours after your procedure as this will negatively impede your clotting process
- Avoid spitting, or using a straw 24 hours after the procedure as this may dislodge the formed clot
- Avoid drinking alcohol as this may slow down your healing journey
- Avoid drinking any hot liquids because they tend to increase swelling or inflammation at such a time
At daily DENTAL & bracesbar, we have a team of dedicated dental experts that strive to ensure your dental extraction procedure is complication and pain-free.