Tooth Extraction and Recovery

There are many instances where your dentist in Woollahra may determine that tooth extraction is the best course of action. While removing a tooth is always going to be for the benefit of your dental health, most people will find the process of getting a tooth removed can be quite frightening, and it can also be difficult to know what you need to prepare for after the procedure. So, to help ease your nerves here is a detailed rundown of what to expect.

Why might you need a tooth pulled in the first place?

As previously mentioned, there are several reasons why tooth extraction may be recommended, however, the most common is to protect the rest of your teeth and your gums from bacteria. When a tooth begins to decay, it can cause pain, and eventually, start affecting the rest of your mouth, so if a tooth is too far gone to save, the safest course of action is removal. It may also be required if your jaw is too small, some patients will need several teeth removed in preparation for braces to create more room for the rest of their teeth.

Preparation before your extraction

Before arranging a time for your procedure, your dentist will take some time to assess the affected tooth and the quality of its surrounding gums. They will also x-ray the tooth to determine how far down the damage is affecting the tooth. From here there will be a discussion about what medication (if any) you are already taking, before determining the best option for sedation.

What happens during a tooth extraction?

Depending on how easy it will be for your dentist to access the affected tooth, you will either be put under general or local anesthesia. Regardless of the sedation method, the process of removal is the same. The dentist will carefully loosen and then remove the tooth from its socket. Possibly with the air of additional incisions in your gums if the tooth is harder to access or broken. At this point, the empty socket will be cleaned and disinfected. Depending on which tooth needed removal, the dentist may also need to place a dental bone graft to prevent the possibility of bone loss in your jaw. Finally, the dentist will make any necessary stitches to ensure faster healing.

What To Expect After A Tooth Extraction

After the removal of your tooth, there will be some bleeding, and this is no cause for alarm. Your dentist will give you some gauze to bite down on, designed to slow and then eventually stop the bleeding when a blood clot forms over the extraction site. After your treatment, your dentist will give you instructions to follow that are specific to your recovery, be sure to follow them.

The most important part of your early recovery is based around keeping the developed blood clot in pace, as if it becomes dislodged it can result in a condition called dry socket, whereby the tooth nerves are exposed. This condition causes very serious pain in the affected area and halts the healing progress.

To protect the site of your extraction, you should

  • Avoid the site with your tongue or fingers
  • Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction
  • Avoid extremely hot or cold foods
  • Avoid foods that are difficult to chew
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Eat nutritious food like soup or soft stew

A General Recovery Timeline

The first 24 hours after surgery, will be when the bleeding is the worst. You will also begin to feel some swelling and tenderness in the affected area. Your dentist will have prescribed some painkillers that you can take during this time, and also be sure to change your gauze frequently. Ice compresses on the outside of your face can also help to manage inflammation. Remember that keeping the blood clot in place is essential during this first day to ensure a smooth recovery, so avoid rinsing your mouth at this time.

Roughly three days after your surgery is when the pain should subside enough for you to return to your usual dental hygiene routine. Still try to avoid directly brushing the site of the extraction, instead clean the area with saline mouthwash a few times a day. Continue eating soft foods, and chewing on the opposite side of your mouth until about a week after your surgery.

Hopefully, you are now feeling more comfortable when thinking about your upcoming extraction. Even though the process can be frightening, remember that your Bondi Junction Dentist will always have your best interest in mind and that you can ask them for further information if you are still nervous about the procedure.