We do all we can to protect your natural teeth, but sometimes extractions are necessary. Extractions can be a real form of relief, especially if the problem tooth is causing pain or hindering optimal cleaning affecting neighbouring teeth. Once a tooth has been extracted there are many options for replacing missing teeth such as dentures, bridges and dental implants.
Types of Extractions:
Removing teeth can be a very straight-forward procedure. For simple extractions, we loosen the tooth with dental elevators and forceps under local anaesthetic. The tooth comes out without difficulty and trauma to adjacent structures.
In some cases, we may need to give the tooth a helping hand to remove it successfully. A surgical extraction involves making a small incision in the gum to remove a tooth that may have broken off or is concealed under the gum. For large teeth, we may need to remove it in parts.
What to do after a tooth extraction?
It is normal for you to have some pain after your surgery. It may last a few days and will vary depending on the type of surgery you have had. A painkiller that is safe for you should control the pain in case you need it. If there is a sudden increase in pain after a few days, this may indicate an infection and you should seek help from your dentist.
If bleeding continues use the gauze pack provided, moisten it lightly and place it over the socket. Bite firmly on it for another 10-15 minutes or until the bleeding stops. See the emergencies section below for advice about what to do if the bleeding does not stop. Your mouth will produce a lot of saliva and we recommend you do NOT spit but swallow.
After surgery, swelling of the mouth is normal, even for simple extractions (removal of teeth). Swelling will increase over the first 48 hours and last for a further five to seven days before disappearing. It is a normal part of the healing process and does not mean you have an infection in the immediate post-surgery period.
You can help avoid infection by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) after each meal, but not for the first 6 hours post extraction. You should not rinse your mouth out before this as this may remove the blood clot out of the socket and delay healing. If you smoke avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for 48 hours.
Immediately after the procedure you will be numb and can take 3-4 hours before sensation returns. Care should be taken to avoid biting the lip, tongue, and cheeks, drinking and eating hot food during this time, you may find eating solid foods uncomfortable, so we recommend avoiding eating on the side you had an extraction for a couple of days. A soft diet can be easier to cope with during this time. In addition to the warm-salt mouthwashes, it is important that you do brush your teeth as normal but be gentle around the site of the surgery.
Please avoid vigorous exercise on the day of your surgery.
In cases of profuse bleeding that does not respond to the instructions given, or any difficulty contact us on the above number. If this is out of normal working hours, please listen to our voice mail message with an emergency mobile number.