Tooth Extractions An Overview
A tooth extraction may be deemed necessary for a variety of reasons, all of which are based on the long term maintenance of a healthy, functional and comfortable smile. Dr. O’Malley can perform most tooth extractions in the comfort of our Simpsonville dentist office using a local anesthetic or form of dental sedation.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The most common type of tooth extraction is the removal of the wisdom teeth. This is often recommended during the late teen years, having been indicated by x-ray that they are impacted or crowding the teeth. Dr. O’Malley will discuss the aspects of your wisdom teeth procedure and what to expect during and after based on the number and location of your wisdom teeth. Teeth that are deeply impacted in the jaw bone may need to be removed by a local oral surgeon.
Tooth Extractions What to Expect
A tooth extraction is completed during a single visit. Dr. O’Malley will explain the procedure and make sure you are relaxed and comfortable before beginning. The first step is to separate the tooth from its socket by releasing the ligaments with a special tool. Dr. O’Malley will then gently rock the tooth back and forth until it loosens and can be removed.
The open area will be carefully cleaned, stitched if necessary and sterile gauze will be placed to keep it clean. We will provide post-treatment instructions and recommendations for minimizing discomfort and side effects. If you experience a recurrence of bleeding, significant or renewed swelling or sharp pain, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible for advice on how to proceed.
Post-Extraction Care Instructions
- No smoking for at least 24 hours. When resuming smoking, draw lightly on the cigarette.
- Do not drink anything through a straw, spit forcefully, or swish forcefully. Any of the above, including smoking, may dislodge the clot that forms in the socket when the tooth is extracted, resulting in exposed bone referred to as a “dry socket.”
- No strenuous exercise should be performed within the first 24hrs as this may result in greater bleeding.
- Soft diet, nothing too hot or too cold, just lukewarm. Stay away from alcohol and spicy foods as well because they can irritate the tissue.
- Bite firmly on the gauze placed at the extraction site in the office for at least 30 minutes as the pressure aids in stopping the bleeding. Change the gauze every 30-45 minutes until the bleeding stops completely. The wound may weep/ooze for 12-24hrs.
- If bleeding continues place a tea bag over the extraction site and bite firmly for 30 minutes.
Post-operative pain varies greatly from patient to patient. Over the counter painkillers, such as Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol), are typically the most effective at managing post-operative pain and should be taken before the anesthetic (numbness) wears off. Occasionally, prescription pain medications may be given.
Post-operatively, on the day of surgery patients should brush their teeth normally, except for those next to the extraction site as this may result in fresh bleeding.
After the first 24hrs patients should begin gentle warm, salt water rinses. Do not swish vigorously, simply tilt your head side to side, bathing the site with the salt water, and let water spill out of your mouth. Do no spit forcefully. Normal brushing near the site can be resumed within a few days after the surgery.
Patients may apply ice to the area to aid in reducing swelling. Icepacks should be applied to the outside of the face in the area of the extraction with a thin towel placed between the pack and the skin to prevent damage to the skin. Application should be cycled 20 min on, 20 min off, for 12-24 hrs.
Some pain and swelling are normal, to be expected, and usually resolves within a few days.