Before and Aftercare Instructions for Tooth Extractions

Before and Aftercare Instructions for Tooth Extractions

Sep 01, 2021

As much as you may want to keep your natural teeth forever, sometimes a tooth extraction is unavailable. If your dentist has doomed your tooth beyond repair, you should prepare for extraction as soon as possible. If you’re wondering how the procedure is like and how you should prepare, this article answers your questions. 

Preparing for a Tooth Extraction

When preparing for tooth extraction, it’s essential to know exactly what type of extraction you’re having. Depending on your tooth’s condition, the dentist or oral surgeon may perform either of the following tooth extraction procedures:

  1. Simple Extraction 

This procedure is ideal for a virtually visible tooth. This procedure can be carried out by a general dentist in their dental practices. During the extraction, the dentist will begin by numbing the area of extraction with a local anesthetic. 

They then use dental instruments such as forceps and an elevator to remove the tooth. The forceps are used to grasp the tooth while the elevator helps to loosen the tooth for extraction. After extraction, you’ll be given a gauze to bite on to control the bleeding. 

Once the anesthetic wears off, it’s normal to feel a little discomfort or pain around the extraction area. The dentist may prescribe medication for the pain. Alternatively, you can use a cold compress on the cheek, on the outer side of the extraction area. 

  1. Surgical Extraction 

If your tooth isn’t visible, the dentist may have to remove it surgically. The dentist or oral surgeon begins by numbing the area. They then make an incision through the surrounding connective tissues to gain access to the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, the dentist stitches back the area. 

Since the procedure involves surgery, it’s normal to experience pain, discomfort, and swelling after the anesthetic wears off. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and painkillers for the same. Alternatively, you can use ice cubes on the cheek for relief. 

On the day of the extraction, keep in mind the following to ensure quality treatment:

  • Have someone to drive you to and from the dental office. 
  • Dress comfortably. Avoid jewelry, lipsticks, and perfumes. 
  • Don’t eat or drink 6-12 hours before the appointment. Confirm with your dentist how long you should fast. 
  • Don’t smoke beforehand. 
  • Inform your dentist of any illnesses. Some conditions can affect the extraction. 

Aftercare Instructions

After you have had your tooth extraction, your dentist will give you several aftercare tips to ensure faster healing and recovery. Ensure you follow the aftercare instructions on the letter to avoid further discomfort, infection, and other complications. These instructions include:

  • Take the prescribed medication as directed by the dentist. Avoid aspirin as it can worsen the bleeding. 
  • Bite gently but firmly on the gauze to control the bleeding and allow for the clot to form. Change the gauze pad if it gets soaked with blood. 
  • Use a cold compress on the cheek around the extraction area to keep pain and swelling down. 
  • Relax for at least 24 hours. Avoid strenuous activities for the next 2 to 3 days. 
  • Don’t spit or rinse forcefully for about 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot. 
  • Don’t brush around the extraction area. Use warm, salty water to prevent infections. 
  • Don’t use a straw or suck anything for the next 24 hours. 
  • Do not smoke. 
  • Eat soft foods for the next 3 days. These include soups, pudding, eggs, and yogurt. 
  • Rest your head on a pillow when sleeping. 

When to Call the Dentist

While a tooth extraction is a standard procedure, it comes with risks. While pain, swelling, or bleeding are considered to be normal, you need to inform your dentist immediately if you experience these or other complications:

  • Severe bleeding that lasts more than 4 hours after the extraction. 
  • Signs of infection, such as fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath, chest pains, or cough.
  • Redness, excessive discharge, or swelling on the extraction site.
  • Severe pain.

Final Verdict

Generally, a dental extraction recovery takes about 3 days. However, recovery may be longer for a surgical patient. Once the area has healed, you should discuss with your dentist to have the tooth replaced as soon as possible. 

A missing tooth can distort your face, affect your bite, cause the adjacent teeth to move out of position, and affect your smile. Common restorative procedures for missing teeth are dental implants, bridges, and dentures. 

Schedule an Appointment Today

For tooth extraction services, contact Lexington Dental Group today to book your appointment. 


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