The term “tooth extraction” refers to the removal of a tooth with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue or post-procedure complications. It is a common practice for dentists to provide their patients with written post-procedure instructions to ensure proper healing.
The doctors and the team of oral healthcare professionals at Your Family Dental, located near you in Merritt Island, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the proper care following a tooth extraction.
If you follow the five general rules below, then the risk of infection, or any complication from the extraction, will be significantly reduced.
Although you may feel great, do not exercise or participate in heavy physical activity for 24 hours after the extraction. When resting, elevate your head slightly higher than usual.
The blood clot allows the extraction site to heal. The dentist will place gauze at the site for you to bite down. It will be important for you to try and keep the gauze in place for at least 1 hour and change the gauze every 30 minutes. The pressure applied to the wound will halt the bleeding.
Should the clot become dislodged, the nerves will become exposed. This exposure will cause the nerves and the capillaries to spasm and constrict. This constriction will limit the essential blood supply necessary for the healing process.
If bleeding persists for a few hours after the extraction, then replace the gauze with a wet tea bag. The tannic acid in black teas help the clotting process.
An ice pack applied to the same side of the face as the extraction site will reduce swelling. The swelling will not occur immediately. Usually, swelling peaks during the second or third day after the procedure. The application of an ice pack is the most beneficial within the first 24 hours after the procedure and prior to the time of peak swelling.
Ice packs should be applied on and off in 15-minute intervals for 1-2 hours.
The goal of a warm saline rinse is to clean the mouth and the area of the extraction. Saline rinses are isotonic and similar to the tissue’s natural fluid. Rinsing is usually advised 12 hours after the extraction.
Always follow the dentist’s instructions for the taking of any prescription drugs. Usually, a prescription is for an antibiotic. Any over-the-counter medications for pain and swelling can be taken on an as-needed basis.
If a patient follows the three Don’t rules below, then the chances of complications from the extraction are lessened.
There should be a no smoking rule in place for at least 48 hours after an extraction. The chemicals in the smoke, and the suction actions of the inhale will disrupt the formation of the clot.
It is advised not to eat any solid foods until all numbness dissipates. When numbness is present, shakes, smoothies, soups and mashed potatoes are the best for a soft and liquid diet.
Aspirin is a blood thinner and will delay the clotting process.
Should pain and bleeding persist after 48 hours from the extraction, then you should schedule a same-day appointment with your dentist.
If you would like a consultation for additional information on the post-procedure care of tooth extractions, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Your Family Dental, located in Merritt Island, where new patients are always welcome.
Your Family Dental is trusted and highly recommended for tooth extractions procedures, as well as other treatments for general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry.