Tooth extraction is by far the most debated dental decision by a patient and there could be many reasons for extracting a tooth. For example some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint and shifting teeth which can have a major impact on your dental health.
The Extraction Process
During extraction of a tooth the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. The patient usually feels a lot of pressure during the rocking of the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal but no pain.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
Any discomfort during extraction should be explained to the doctor immediately.
Many a times a tooth needs to be sectioned to enable extraction. Sectioning is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Extraction Home Care
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control the bleeding. Blood clots are common and the patient should not be alarmed. Clotting is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot. The patient should avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction and also avoid smoking or drinking hot liquids. Swelling is sometimes accompanied with tooth extractions and using a ice pack alleviates the swelling.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water after meals and before bed.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn't appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.
Visiting the doctor is recommended for medicated dressing.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1-2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.