Tooth Extraction Procedure
Having a tooth pulled may be one of the most anxiety-inducing dental visits you will ever experience. But having a tooth pulled comes with an anesthetic of some sort, so you may feel nothing more than the prick of a needle.
Before pulling your tooth, Dr. Riddle will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed.
Dr. Riddle will use a #12 Stainless Steel Surgical Blade to cut the gum around the tooth. He will then cut sections to help free the tooth and gently lift it out. This type of procedure helps to preserve the bone. He will then sew a HeliPLUG into the socket which will help prevent you from getting a “dry socket”.
Tooth Extraction Pain
Having pain after your surgery is expected and common. Pain may last up to two weeks after surgery. It is highly recommended to take two Advil or Motrin immediately when you get home.
For severe pain, a narcotic pain medication such as Tylenol # 3 or Vicoprofen, or a number of other strong pain relievers may be prescribed for you. Take them as indicated on the prescription. Your initial dose may take up to an hour before is effective. (Be sure to take the first dose of your pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off.) Take 1 or 2 pills every 4-6 hours as needed for severe pain only. For mild discomfort, you may take Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, etc. Be sure to drink liquids before taking your pills to help prevent an upset stomach.
Do not rinse, spit or blow your nose during the first 24 hours after your surgery.
Tooth Extraction Dry Socket
A dry socket is formed if the blood clot is dislodged from the socket.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dry socket occurs when the clot is dislodged before the extraction site has had a chance to heal. Once the clot is gone, the nerve is exposed to everything from the air you breathe to the food you eat, which can be extremely painful. Dr. Riddle sews a HeliPLUG into the socket to help prevent a dry socket from ever forming.
Over-the-counter medications like tylenol or ibuprofen can help relieve the pain, but it can become so severe that you may need a prescription pain medicine. Call Dr. Riddle if you suspect you have a dry socket. He may need to clean and pack the socket with gauze to protect it. You may also be given an antibiotic. You may be asked to rinse regularly with hydrogen peroxide to encourage healing.
To help avoid getting a dry socket, the American Dental Association recommends avoiding drinking from a straw or smoking for 24 hours after tooth extractions.
If you take birth control pills, the estrogen in the pills can prevent effective clotting, so talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about the best time of the month to perform the surgery.
TOOTH EXTRACTION BLEEDING
After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, call our office immediately.
Persistant bleeding following a dental extraction is uncommon but can be associated with a number of medical conditions, like blood disorders and liver disease, and with certain medications like Warfarin and Aspirin.
- The blood clot on top of the socket must be wiped entirely away.
- This can be done with tissue paper or a cotton handkerchief.
- The clot tends to be quite sticky, so it may take several attempts to clear the clot away.
- Ideally remove any clot within the tooth socket using a cotton bud.
- Moisten a clean cotton handkerchief. (Do not use tissue paper or cotton wool at this stage)
- Wrap this into a wad so that it is narrow enough to fit between teeth on either side of the socket, but wide enough to cover the whole socket. It should be sufficiently bulky so that when the teeth are closed together, the wad exerts a lot of pressure on the socket.
- Bite hard on the swab for a minimum of thirty minutes. This should be constant pressure.
- If it is difficult to maintain pressure in this way, press hard on the swab with a finger, again for thirty minutes.
- If bleeding persists after thirty minutes of constant pressure call our office for advice.
- If the bleeding stops, avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours, do not rinse your mouth for 24 hours.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. The following will help speed recovery:
Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. Apply an ice or cold pack to the outside of your mouth to help relieve pain and swelling.
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water.
- Change your gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
- Relax after your surgery and let others take care of you. Physical activity can increase bleeding.
- Avoid smoking.
- Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, broth, or a thin soup. You can gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
- Prop up your head with pillows. Do not lie flat as this may prolong bleeding.
- Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue.
- Do not use straws.
- Continue to carefully brush your teeth and tongue being careful around the surgical site.
After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time, and some have to be removed after a few days. Dr. Riddle will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed or not.
Call Dr. Riddle if you experience any of the following:
- Swelling that gets worse instead of better.
- Excessive bleeding that won’t subside with pressure.
- Severe, throbbing pain three to four days following surgery.
- An elevated fever that persists.
Tooth Extraction Do’s & Don’ts
- Rest! Let someone else wait on you and enjoy it
- Take any medications on schedule
- Bite on gauze pads
- Change gauze pads before they get blood soaked
- Rinse your mouth gently with salt water AFTER 24 hours
- Apply ice packs on the side where surgery was performed
- Eat cold soft foods
- Drink cold liquids
- Avoid smoking
- Lie down with your head propped with pillows
- Brush and floss daily
- Eat or drink anything warm or hot
- Drink through a straw
- Exercise or exert yourself
- Blow your noze or sneeze with your mouth closed
- Don’t spit for 24 hours
- Don’t smoke for 48 hours
- Avoid Aspirin
Below are some of the foods you may enjoy after your surgery