Though we’ll do everything we can to save your tooth, sometimes there’s nothing more that can be done and it must be extracted. There are two main types of extractions: simple tooth extractions and surgical tooth extractions.
Post-Operative Care for Tooth Extractions
When the extraction is completed, the staff will have you sit still long enough to ensure clotting. They’ll have you bite down on some gauze and also should send gauze home with you. Even after you’re home we’ll want you to rest and be as still as possible for a minimum of two hours. Avoid doing anything that could prevent clotting, such as sucking or spitting. If you’re feeling any discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be fine.
You should expect some blood-tinged saliva for a couple of days. That’s nothing to worry about. What you want to look out for is thick bleeding. If this happens, bite down on the gauze your dentist provided for you for about forty-five minutes, then check the bleeding. If it hasn’t stopped, repeat the pressure for forty-five minutes one more time. After that, if you still have extensive bleeding you’ll need to contact us. If you can’t reach us, go to the hospital.
Post-Operative Care for a Surgical Extraction
A surgical extraction simply means an incision was required. A flap of tissue will be raised to gain access to the tooth. Sometimes bone has to be removed or the tooth may need to be sectioned into pieces in order to take it out. You’ll see this most often with wisdom tooth removal. In these cases, post-operative care is a little more extensive.
There will be some swelling and you’ll be given a prescription pain reliever. Be careful with these. Some of them are addictive. Only take them as necessary and never more than the prescribed instructions indicate.
You may find it difficult to open your mouth after surgery. Don’t let this worry you. It’s completely normal and will lessen every day.
In addition to the bleeding instructions given with general extractions, follow this additional surgical care:
- On the first day, only eat liquid and soft foods, such as puddings or broth. Starting the second day you can try working your way up the food chain, but don’t rush it.
- Keep the surgical site as clean as possible. For the first day, don’t brush. Just use a warm salt water rinse. The second day you can brush, but be especially careful around the extraction site. Stay on the tooth. Avoid the gums. You don’t want to tear a suture.
After the Extraction Has Healed
It’s important you replace the extracted tooth. We’ll sit down with you and discuss all your options.