Transforming Smiles, Enhancing Beauty

Your comprehensive oral, maxillofacial and facial cosmetic solution

After Tooth Extractions

Saving teeth is our top priority, but sometimes an extraction is the only choice. Thanks to modern technology and the elite training our oral surgeons have in administering anesthesiatooth extractions in our office are fast, painless, and safe.

As you consider an extraction, it’s important to understand the mechanics of our jaws and the value our teeth provide in maintaining jaw bone health. The moment a tooth is extracted, bone deterioration sets in, so tooth replacement is vital. For this reason, our doctors discuss teeth replacement options during your extraction consultation.

Once a teeth replacement plan, such as dental implants, has been established, we begin the creation of a customized treatment plan that will restore your smile and your oral health.

Should you restore or extract a tooth?

Extracting teeth is always a last resort, but when there are no other options, we may recommend a tooth extraction if you are suffering from:

  • Impaction
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Tooth fractures
  • Gum disease
  • Overcrowding

What should you expect when getting a tooth extracted?

Tooth extractions are minor surgical procedures that we perform in our office every day. We start by administering a local anesthetic to numb the area and keep you comfortable. Yet, many people find a surgical extraction to be somewhat unpleasant while awake. So, many of our patients choose to receive IV anesthesia so that they are unaware of the local anesthesia or the surgical procedure. If you choose to receive IV sedation, you’ll need to prepare as instructed below. 

Preparing for a Tooth Extraction

Be well-prepared for a successful oral surgery recovery by doing a few simple things in advance.

Food and Drink

  • Do not eat or drink anything for eight hours prior to surgery.
  • Stock up on smooth, pureed, and soft foods, such as apple sauce, Jell-O, yogurt, ice cream, and oatmeal to enjoy as you recover.
  • Avoid straws when drinking after surgery. Using straws can dislodge the clot that covers your extractions site, resulting in a very painful condition called dry socket.

A Responsible Adult

  • Line up someone to drive you to and from your appointment. 
  • Plan to have a companion stay for the duration of the surgery and then at home, available to help you when needed. Please inform your driver to not leave the office to run errands while you are in surgery.

Plan for Rest

  • An extraction takes less than an hour, but be prepared to rest the remainder of the day. 
  • Resting is key to a successful recovery

How many days off do you need after a tooth extraction?

Since tooth extractions are such quick, outpatient procedures, it’s common for people to think they can return to work immediately. It’s best to consider several long-term factors before going directly from our office to work.

  • You may feel fine at first, but anesthesia takes a while to wear off, and when it does, you may feel some pain. There’s no way of knowing the level of your pain ahead of time.
  • Bleeding and pain are reduced as a blot clot forms over the surgical site. If it is dislodged, due to strenuous activity at work, serious complications can result. Exercise increases blood pressure and can cause bleeding from the wound, so if your job involves strenuous physical activity, you’ll want to wait a day or two before returning.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking with a straw, and vigorous rinsing the first 72 hours because these activities tend to dislodge blood clots as well. The key to returning to work is developing and keeping a blood clot that stays intact.

How long does it take for the gum to close after a tooth extraction?

A tooth extraction is a routine procedure, but it’s important that you follow aftercare instructions carefully. This will speed up your recovery and ensure there are no complications. The formation of a blood clot in the surgical site is what protects and heals the wound and closes the gums.

To ensure proper healing, gently bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after surgery. Applying pressure helps to develop a clot. Continue to place gauze over the area and bite down firmly for 30 minutes at a time as bleeding or oozing continues. Disrupting or dislodging the clot can lead to a painful condition called dry socket.

Can I eat immediately after having a tooth extraction?

This depends on the complexity of your extraction. If your tooth was impacted (stuck in your gums and unable to erupt), you’ll need to drink plenty of liquids and eat only soft foods, such as ice cream, smoothies, and yogurt, the first day. Return to a normal diet as you feel comfortable. Make sure to resume your regular brushing and flossing routine to ensure proper healing and a clean mouth.

What if I am having multiple teeth extracted? What is the difference?

Having multiple teeth extracted in one procedure involves greater attention and preparation to ensure minimized discomfort and a speedy recovery. Be intentional about keeping to an icing schedule and use a warm, moist towel to reduce any pain. We may prescribe a pain medication stronger than Tylenol as needed. As is the case with a single tooth extraction, stop the bleeding by gently biting down on gauze, stay well-hydrated, and slowly move from soft foods to a normal diet as you feel comfortable.

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