Tooth Extractions and instructions

Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Dentists usually make every effort to preserve natural teeth, although sometimes an extraction is necessary. Although the procedure is performed in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or another oral prosthetic.

There are several reasons why you could need a tooth extraction.

The most common cause of San Antonio tooth extractions is severe tooth decay and cavities. However, many patients also undergo extractions for impacted teeth – particularly wisdom teeth. Other causes for extraction include advanced periodontal disease, cracked teeth, and teeth that are severely malformed. Although many circumstances that require extraction are unavoidable, some could be prevented with regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a tooth extraction?

Only your San Antonio dentist can tell you if you need a tooth extraction. However, you may be a candidate for the procedure if one or more of your teeth are decayed so severely that a filling or other restoration is not a possibility for treatment.

What should I expect during my tooth extraction appointment?

If you and your dentist decide to extract one or more teeth, you will be scheduled to return for oral surgery at a later date. You will be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure, and you may be prescribed medications to help manage pain in the hours following your extraction. Depending on the nature of your extraction and other factors, such as whether your teeth are impacted, you may also be sedated or given general anesthesia during your procedure.

After Tooth Extraction Instructions 

After 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. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum.. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.  If it is difficult to eat please keep up your nutrition with healthy protein drinks.(not energy drinks)

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 210-691-1333

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water)upto six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.

Sutures

Sutures are sometimes placed the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the loosed suture from your mouth and discard it. Sometimes, dissolvable sutures are utilized during surgery. Other times, the sutures will be removed approximately one week after surgery by your dentist. The removal of sutures requires no anesthesia or needles. It takes only a minute or so, and there is no discomfort associated with this procedure. So it’s nothing to worry about.

Extraction site

There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue over the next month. In the mean time, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt water rinses or a toothbrush.

Dry Socket

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office at 210-691-1333 if this occurs.