Patient Education/ Common Dental Procedures/ Removable Dentures

Tooth Extractions

It is removal of tooth from the mouth due to one or many reasons.

Reasons for extracting teeth:

  • Tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired.
  • To prepare the mouth for alignment of teeth (orthodontics).
  • Infection- If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp.
  • Risk of infection- If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving radiation or are having an organ transplant)
  • Gum disease- Infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth that have caused loosening of the teeth

What to expect with tooth extraction

  • Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions under an injection of a local anaesthetic (or pain medicine) to numb the area.
  • Once the tooth has been extracted, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and get you to bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches, usually self-dissolving, to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

Post Extraction care:

  • Recovery typically takes a few days.
  • Take painkillers as prescribed or over the counter products suggested by your dentist - such as ibuprofen, diclofenac or paracetamol. Antibiotics might be prescribed in infected cases.
  • Bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket for half hour after the extraction.
  • Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep down bleeding and swelling. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Limit activity for the next day or two.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for six hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.
  • After six hours, gently rinse your mouth with a solution made of half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
  • Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not smoke, as it can inhibit healing.
  • Eat cold and softer foods (such as icecream, milkshakes, yoghurt,etc) the day after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.
  • When lying down, prop your head up with pillows. Lying flat may prolong bleeding.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but avoid the extraction site. Doing so will help prevent infection.

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