Reasons for extractions include pain, infection, deep decay, tooth fracture, bone loss, or impaction of a tooth. In most situations a tooth can be extracted at a same-day emergency visit without the need for antibiotics. Exceptions to this include impacted wisdom teeth, severe swelling preventing the patient from opening his/her mouth all the way, or inability of the patient to get numb.
Extractions can be classified as simple or surgical. In a surgical extraction the gums may need to be cut and/or the tooth may need to be drilled into smaller pieces (don't worry, it feels just like getting a filling).
After the surgery you will need to rest. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- …and other food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.