Tooth removal or extraction is a common procedure for most adults, even though the teeth are meant to be permanent. Some of the reasons for tooth extraction include gum disease, tooth decay or infection, crowded teeth, or damage from trauma.
How tooth extraction is done
If you have teeth need to be extracted, you can book the dentist or an oral surgeon.
The dentist will inject you with anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth to be extracted to prevent experiencing pain. But you will be able to feel the other parts.
If it is a child having a tooth extraction or you have more than one tooth to be extracted, the dentist can choose to use a strong anesthetic. This means that the child will sleep during the procedure.
To make the procedure simpler, the dentist uses an elevator to rock the tooth back and forth until it gets loose. And then remove the tooth using dental forceps.
Impacted teeth or molars
If you are having an impacted tooth or molars removed, the dentist will perform a surgical extraction.
The surgeon will make an incision to cut away the gum and bone tissue which covers the tooth in these cases. Then use forceps to rock the tooth back and forth until it gets loose or breaks away.
If the tooth is difficult to remove, the dentist will remove it in pieces. A general anesthetic will be needed if a more complex surgical extraction will be done.
After removing the tooth, a blood clot will form inside the socket where the tooth was removed. The dentist will cover the socket with a gauze pad to reduce and stop bleeding. A few stitches will be necessary in some cases.
Tooth extraction aftercare
Tooth extraction aftercare may differ depending on the type of extraction and the location; you can expect the extraction to heal in about ten days. It is important to ensure that the blood clot in the socket is in place. Dislodging it can cause what is known as dry socket. The condition is painful.
Some tips can help to reduce the healing time. Some of the tips include: taking painkillers prescribed by the dentist
- Let the initial gauze pad in place for about four hours after the procedure
- Place an ice bag on the affected area immediately after the procedure for about 10 minutes. If you leave the ice bags for a long time, it can damage the tissue.
- Rest for 24 hours after the operation and limit your activities for some days.
- Don’t spit, rinse, or use a straw for 24 hours after the operation to avoid dislodging the blood clot.
- Rinse the mouth after 24 hours using a saline solution.
- Don’t smoke
- Prop the head up with a pillow when sleeping.
- Brush and floss the teeth to prevent infection, but avoid the extracted area.
Foods to eat
During the healing process, you need to eat soft foods like applesauce, soup, pudding, yogurt, and other soft foods.
You can also take smoothies using a spoon. As the extraction area heals, you can add more solid foods in your diet, but it is important to continue with soft foods for about seven days.
Managing pain after tooth removal
You will feel soreness, discomfort, or pain after the tooth is extracted. It is normal to see some parts of the face swell.
The painkillers from the dentist will help to reduce any pain and symptoms that you may experience. He may also recommend some medications over the counter.
If the discomfort or pain does not go away in two days after the extraction, you can contact the dentist. If the pain gets worse several days later, you can call the dentist immediately to rule out an infection.
After healing, you can go back to your diet. New gum and bone tissue will grow over the extracted area. However, lack of a tooth can cause the teeth to shift, affecting your ability to bite.
You can ask the dentist about replacing the removed tooth to prevent this from occurring. The replacement can be done with a denture, an implant, or a fixed bridge.
If the tooth is decayed or damaged and can’t be repaired with a crown or filling first, the dentist can extract it. The dentist will explain the available options during the consultation visit.
Why are teeth removed?
There are various reasons why your teeth can be extracted. Some of the reasons include:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- An abscess on the gums and around the teeth
- A broken tooth that can’t be repaired
- Crowded teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth
Side effects of tooth removal
After the tooth is removed, you may experience side effects which should not last long.
You may have some discomfort or pain a few days after the extraction. You may also swell. You can use ice packs or frozen peas to reduce the swelling. After ten days, the discomfort should disappear. After a few weeks, you may have some bruising, and the jaw may feel stiff for one week. Don’t force the jaw open when it is stiff.
You may also notice bleeding for about a day or two. When the blood mixes with saliva, it may appear like more blood than it is. Contact the dentist if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
Complications are when problems happen during or after the procedure. Some of the complications include Damage to other teeth, sensitive teeth, poor healing, and nerve injury.
If you experience any complications from the tooth removal, seek advice from the dentist immediately. Tooth extraction healing timeline is, ten days, and any discomfort or pain should disappear. The painkillers from the dentist will help to reduce any pain and symptoms that you may experience. He may also recommend some medications over the counter. If the discomfort or pain does not go away in two days after the extraction, you can contact the dentist. If the pain gets worse several days later, you can call the dentist immediately to rule out an infection.