Do I Need A Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extractions may be necessary if a tooth is severely decayed, evidences severe periodontal disease, or have broken to a point beyond repair. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth or to prepare for further treatment like dentures or orthodontic braces. Tooth extractions are often considered the last resort in a dental plan, and tooth extraction is generally recommended only when Cocoa Beach Family Dentistry is unable to restore an existing tooth to health.
Are Tooth Extractions Painful?
If an extraction is necessary, the process is relatively simple and painless. Drs. David Ross or Erin Kahlon will numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. You will feel pressure in your mouth, but not pain. We will rock the tooth back and forth a bit to widen the area for removal. You will certainly detect this movement, but we will work to ensure you do not experience pain.
Once the extraction is complete, care at home is manageable. If you experience any of the following symptoms, here’s how to proceed:
- Bleeding: some bleeding can be expected. Simply bit down on a piece of moist gauze firmly and the pressure will begin to halt the bleeding. You can bite down on the gauze for 45 minutes.
- Blood clots: it is normal for blood to clot in the empty space, and this marks the beginning of the healing process. You want to be sure that the clots stay in place, so avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction and avoid using a straw, smoking, or hot liquids.
- Swelling: if swelling occurs you can place ice or a cold pack on your face for 10 minutes then remove it for 20 minutes. You can repeat the 10-20 process as much as you’d like for 24 hours.
- Pain and medication: if you experience any pain it can be controlled with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Eating: you may eat following an extraction, but chew away from the extraction site and stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. You may wish to stick with liquids for 24 hours.
- Brushing and rinsing: avoid brushing for 24 hours, and then you may resume gentle brushing. After the first 24 hours, you can rinse with salt water after meals and before bed.
- Dry socket: If a blood clot fails to form or is dislodged from the extraction site, healing can be delayed and will manifest as a dull throbbing pain. Watch for this 3 or 4 days after extraction and may appear with a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath. This will require a follow-up visit and we will apply a medicated dressing to soothe the pain. Following the aftercare instructions, however, should prevent a dry socket from occurring.
*You can expect your mouth to be completely healed in about 2 weeks following an extraction.