A Complete Guide To Tooth Extraction Care And Recovery

A Complete Guide To Tooth Extraction Care And Recovery

Tooth Extraction Care And Recovery

Do you experience discomfort when chewing food? Do you feel toothaches coupled with a headache that feels like your head will blow off at any moment? If it does, you might need to visit your dentist as soon as possible. That’s probably a sign of a severe dental problem that may require immediate extraction.

Tooth extraction is the process of removing severely damaged permanent teeth. It’s common for adults, especially those who have not practiced healthy dental and oral hygiene. Here are some of the most common reasons why someone needs tooth extraction:

  • Severe tooth decay or cavities
  • Advanced gum (periodontal) disease
  • Fractured teeth due to physical trauma (e.g., slip, fall, accidents, etc.)
  • Crowded teeth
  • Impacted teeth
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth luxation

If you find your teeth painful and excruciating these past few days, visit any dental clinics in your area or check out https://www.grovecitydentalofblackfoot.com/extractions/ for more information.

Once the damaged tooth has been removed, the next thing to do is to allow the extraction site to heal and recover. In this article, you’ll learn the aftercare treatment for faster healing. But before you do so, it’d be best to understand how tooth extraction works.

What Happens Before Tooth Extraction?

Before the affected tooth is extracted, the dentist or oral surgeon looks at it and its surrounding gums. They will also use X-rays to find out if bone levels have been damaged to an extent.

In addition, make sure to inform your dentist about all the medications and supplements you’re currently taking. Once everything is taken accordingly, the next thing your dentist will discuss is dental sedation.

Dental Sedation

Sedatives are common in dental procedures. They’re an ideal option for people who are extremely anxious and nervous when visiting a dentist, helping patients be more comfortable during dental appointments.

Below are the three common sedatives your dentist may use to soothe you and make you feel comfortable.

  • Nitrous Oxide: Also called the ‘laughing gas,’ nitrous oxide can be inhaled through a nosepiece or a mask. It’s ideal for patients who need light sedation, and those who use this are able to drive themselves after their appointments.
  • Intravenous (IV) Sedation: This is ideal for patients experiencing high levels of anxiety and those undergoing complicated dental procedures. IV sedatives include midazolam and meperidine, which are administered directly through your bloodstream via an IV line. Also, it’ll be difficult for you to drive after, so be sure to call someone to drive you after.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: Unlike nitrous oxide and IV, this sedative is taken as a pill about an hour before a dental appointment. Common sedatives include midazolam, diazepam, and lorazepam. In addition, they can be used as a stand-alone sedative or in conjunction with IV and nitrous oxide. Also, you’ll need someone to drive you after.

On other occasions, the dentist may provide general anesthesia, especially when it comes to complex dental procedures, such as corrective jaw surgery and facial reconstruction.

What Happens During Tooth Extraction?

Initially, the dentist will give you local anesthesia to numb the extraction site and the surrounding gums. Then, the dentist will gently loosen the affected tooth and carefully extract it from the base socket (where the tooth is naturally planted) using specialized dental equipment.

In other cases, the dentist might need to make a small cut around the gums so that the affected tooth gets loosened. This is especially necessary for teeth that have been severely decayed or have broken off the gums.

Once the affected tooth is removed, the dentist will clean and disinfect the base socket. Sometimes, they may attach a bone graft to prevent bone recession within your jaw. Lastly, the dentist will stitch the extraction site to close the wound and promote faster recovery.

How Are Impacted Tooth Or Molars Removed?

Removing molars or impacted teeth is more complicated than extracting other teeth. To fix the issue, the dentist will need to make a small cut in the bone and gum tissue that hides the teeth. Then, they’ll loosen the teeth by rocking them back and forth until they’re easy to lift.

If the affected tooth is difficult to remove, some pieces can be extracted. Usually, complicated surgical procedures might be necessary under general anesthesia.

Once the molar or impacted tooth has been removed, the blood will clot around the base socket. Then, the dentist will stop the bleeding with a gauze pad (a few stitches may be required if the bleeding is too much due to large open wounds).

What Is The Aftercare Procedures After Tooth Extraction?

Aftercare may vary depending on some factors. These include the tooth extracted because other types, especially with deeper roots like molars, take more time to heal completely. However, most patients find that the pain gradually reduces after three or four days.

One of the most important things to keep in mind during the aftercare is the blood clot that forms within the extraction site. Taking care of this is crucial to the recovery process. Also, it prevents complicated issues like dry sockets.

Here’s a 10-day care timeline after the extraction process:

  • The First Two Days

    The first two days after the extraction procedure demands much aftercare. This focuses on letting blood clot form and caring for overall oral health. Some experts note that light bleeding within the first 24 hours after a tooth extraction is normal. However, if it’s still bleeding after that period, you might need to have it checked and treated by your dentist. Here are some aftercare tips:
    • First Two Days
      • Rest A Lot: You need to get a lot of rest within the first 24 hours after the extraction process to calm the body and set it up for recovery.
      • Change Gauze Pads: As mentioned earlier, the dentist may leave a gauze pad on the extraction pad after the procedure to allow the blood to form a clot. Let it be for at least three hours, and replace it with a new one whenever necessary.
      • Don’t Rinse: As much as possible, avoid rinsing or gargling in the mouth to allow the blood to clot properly. Such actions may prevent blood clotting, which can delay the healing process.
      • Avoid Using Straws: During the first two days, it’s better to avoid buying drinks that often require straws. Using straws puts immense pressure on the extraction site, which may prevent the blood from clotting or dislodging the newly-formed clot.
      • Avoid Spitting: Like using straws, spitting can put a lot of pressure on the extraction site, which can dislodge or prevent blood clotting.
      • Avoid Sneezing Or Blowing Your Nose: If the extracted tooth comes from the upper half of your mouth, it’d be best to avoid sneezing or blowing your nose as much as possible. Such actions put a lot of pressure on the extracted site, which can dislodge the blood clot.
      • Take Medications: The dentist may prescribe you take some medications, especially if the extraction procedure is complicated. If they do, you want to ensure to follow everything your dentist tells you for faster healing and recovery.
      • Raise Your Head: After the extraction process, it’s best to keep your head elevated using additional pillows to prevent the blood from pooling in your head, which may delay the healing time.
      • Use Ice Pack: Cold compresses help reduce the pain on the extraction site. Use an ice pack or towel-wrapped ice on the affected area for around 10-20 minutes every two to three hours.
      • Avoid Smoking: Smoking is akin to using a straw. The inhaling action causes a lot of pressure on the extraction site, and as mentioned earlier, this may dislodge the blood clot or prevent blood from clotting.
      • Use Pain Relievers: Pain relievers help alleviate the pain after extraction. Your doctor may prescribe you over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If the pain still lingers, ask your dentist for stronger painkillers, such as hydrocodone.
      These are important rules to follow to ensure faster healing. If there’s any problem despite you following the tips above, call your dentist immediately to find out what the issue is.
    • Three To Ten Days After Extraction

      Once the blood has clotted properly, it’s important to secure it as much as possible and take extra measures to prevent potential issues. Here are some tips to follow within three to ten days after extraction:
      • Rinse Mouth With Saline Solution: Grab warm water and add a pinch of salt. Mix it well until the salt is completely dissolved. This solution can help kill the bacteria that can cause infection as the extraction site heals.
      • Floss And Brush Regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day to prevent plaque buildups that encourage bacterial growth. Floss your teeth after brushing to remove particles that simple brushing can’t reach. You may rinse your mouth with the saline solution above or any medicated mouthwash your dentist prescribes.
      • Eat Soft Foods: After the operation, dentists advise patients to eat only soft foods as much as possible to prevent food from getting trapped inside the extraction site. Consider eating soups, yogurt, and other similar options. Avoid chips, nuts, and foods with seeds.
      Follow these simple tips until the base socket has healed completely. If there’s a problem despite these tips, consult your dentist immediately to find the cause and prevent it from getting worse.

How Should You Care For Yourself After Multiple Extractions?

In some cases, dentists need to remove more than one tooth under the same operation. When undergoing multiple extractions, the dentist often requires general anesthesia, not local anesthesia. This will put the patient in an unconscious state throughout the entire operation.

The dentist can also provide them with additional instructions after the extraction. For example, patients shouldn’t eat specific foods after the procedure to promote healing. Once done, the patient will need someone to drive them home due to the effects of general anesthesia.

It’s not easy to care for multiple extraction sites, especially if they can be found in different areas. The dentist may require patients to get a follow-up checkup shortly after the procedure to monitor the complicated condition.

Dentists may also ask you to use clotting aids, small objects made from natural sources that promote blood clotting. These materials are broken down and absorbed by the body over time.

How Should You Care For Yourself After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Dentists often recommend wisdom teeth extraction as early as possible to prevent serious complications. However, keep in mind that the healing process of extracting wisdom teeth often takes much longer compared to removing regular teeth. This requires patients to leave work or school for a couple of days or until the wound is manageable or healed completely.

Extracting wisdom tooth often involves multiple extractions. This is especially true if its severely impacted, causing significant and irreversible damage to other surrounding teeth. If that’s the case, you’ll need general anesthesia instead of local anesthesia.

In most cases, dentists may help promote recovery by using different techniques, such as absorbable sutures and clotting aids. Although the process is complicated compared to regular tooth extraction, the aftercare process is similar. But it’s best to ask your dentist to be sure.

What Are Home Remedies For Pain Management?

Experiencing pain is common after tooth extraction. However, there are simple home remedies that may help you relieve the pain throughout the healing process. These include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These are over-the-counter medicines often prescribed by dentists to alleviate mild to moderate pain, swelling, and inflammation. However, talk to your dentist first, especially if you take other medicines and supplements to prevent adverse reactions.
  • Saltwater Solution: As mentioned earlier, rinsing your mouth with saltwater may help reduce pain and inflammation by preventing bacterial growth.
  • Cold Compresses: Applying a cold compress to the affected site may help reduce pain and swelling. If you don’t have ice packs or bags, ice cubes wrapped in a towel are good enough. Do this for around 10-20 minutes, take a break for a couple of hours, and do it again.

Final Words

Although tooth extraction is normal for adults, taking care of it can be a drag. This is especially true for teeth with severe cases, such as wisdom tooth extraction. Above is a comprehensive and detailed guide that can help you manage yourself after the procedure for faster healing and recovery. If there’s any problem during the recovery process, consult your dentist right away to identify and address the cause as quickly as possible.