If you have been told that you need a tooth extracted, you aren’t alone. Getting a tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgeries, and it can help your oral health in a number of ways. There are many reasons why a tooth should be extracted. Perhaps the most common one is that the tooth has severe tooth decay or damage. Once the tooth has been extracted, it can get rid of the damaging bacteria that was in the mouth. Getting a tooth extracted can be an important improvement to your oral health as well as your overall health.
A tooth extraction is a dental procedure in which an entire tooth is removed from the tooth socket, including the roots. It is sometimes called removing a tooth or pulling a tooth. The procedure itself depends a lot on the size of the tooth, especially the roots. There are many reasons that you may need a tooth extracted, and it’s often the case that getting a dental crown or fillings wouldn’t be enough to fix your tooth. Some people have a tooth that is highly painful, and getting an extraction can get rid of this pain. You might need a tooth removed if you have a fractured tooth, highly crowded teeth, or a tooth that is impacted. It may also be necessary because of a severe case of gum disease or certain dental injuries. DFW Oral Surgeons perform tooth extractions regularly and can perform this service for you.
After Your Tooth Extraction
Once the surgeon has extracted your tooth, there will be a piece of gauze placed over the site. The surgeon will ask you to bite down on it and to apply steady pressure to it. This can help the bleeding to slow down and hastens the creation of a blood clot at the extraction site. It’s important for this clot to develop so that the socket is protected and the site can start to heal. Without a clot there, you could be at risk for developing a painful dry socket. Once the gauze and pressure have slowed down the bleeding at the site, the gauze will be removed. For the first 24 hours after your surgery, you could have some light bleeding. This is nothing to worry about. The clot can still be forming, and the site won’t bleed for long. You will have post-surgery instructions given to you before you leave, and it’s important to follow those precisely in order heal as quickly as possible.
The Next Two Days
Once you have left the surgery office and head home to heal, it’s time for the recovery period. How long this takes depends a lot on your specific extraction and its scope. Generally, it takes only a few days before patients feel like they are back to normal. It usually takes anywhere from 48 to 72 hours before you can get back to your normal daily activities. For full healing, it will take the jawbone a few weeks. However, with your blood clot in place, your surgical site will be healed enough for you to get back into your life. If you are replacing the tooth with an implant, it will likely have to wait a few months for the area to be completely healed.
You will be instructed to keep the surgical site clean and to rinse the area gently with a specific antimicrobial mouthwash at least twice a day. It must be done gently so that the blood clot is not dislodged. You shouldn’t be brushing the surgical site during this time. Wait until you are allowed to brush the area before doing so. It should say in your instructions when you can do so again. For the rest of your teeth, brush and floss them just as you normally would. You should have your prescriptions filled and take them as prescribed. It’s common for patients to be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics. There may also be over-the-counter medications that you can take such as ibuprofen.
During the first 48 to 72 hours, you must avoid doing any strenuous activity. When you engage in vigorous physical activity, it raises your heart rate, and this can cause your surgical site to bleed again. It can also raise the amount of discomfort that you feel. Don’t visit the gym during this period, and make sure you feel up to physical activity before you start back with it.
During this time, you need to avoid eating anything crunchy and hard. Before your surgery, stock up on some soft foods that will be more comfortable to eat and that won’t damage the surgical site. Great foods to eat during this period include eggs, rice, applesauce, pasta, and yogurt. It’s also important to avoid drinking through straws for these first few days. Drinking through a straw can cause the blood clot to dislodge itself, and this can make you vulnerable to developing a dry socket.
Many people are eager to get back to work or school, but they need a little healing time first. Many people are able to go back within one or two days of the surgery. If your job requires you to do hard physical labor like lifting heavy objects, it’s best to wait a few more days before you go back to it.
At DFW Oral Surgeons, we are the experts in providing effective oral surgery such as tooth extractions. We are highly trained in this surgery and have years of experience in performing it. We also ensure that you know exactly how to take care of your surgical site after the extraction.