Why Tooth Extractions are Performed
Ideally, your teeth would remain healthy throughout your lifetime. Unfortunately, routine wear, cavities, cracks, and other emergencies can put your teeth at risk.
At Whidbey Dental Associates, we do everything we can to preserve your natural teeth. But sometimes, your tooth must be removed for the sake of your overall health. When a tooth becomes more harmful than helpful, extraction can save you from more pain.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
While your wisdom teeth may seem to be healthy teeth, they can become impacted or grow incorrectly. These issues can cause greater problems in your overall oral health, so they’re often removed. If left in your mouth, they may lead to crowding, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Emergency Tooth Extractions
If your tooth has been damaged or severely infected, there may be no other option than removal. In the case of an accident or intense pain, call our office at (360) 675-6404 and we can offer our emergency dental care services.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After your tooth extraction, caring for your oral hygiene is of the utmost importance. If you don’t take care of your mouth properly after the procedure, you may develop some serious complications.
When you return home after your extraction, leave the initial gauze pad in place for a couple of hours and apply an ice bag to the area for 10 minutes at a time to help reduce swelling. Leaving the ice on for too long can result in tissue damage.
For the initial 24 hours, you should rest and avoid rinsing, spitting, or using a straw. If you smoke, you should also avoid smoking for this first day.
Most people are able to return home for recovery and return to their daily routines the next day. You may experience some discomfort, but over-the-counter pain relievers often help.
Tooth Extraction Complications
Though some discomfort and swelling after a tooth extraction are normal, the following complications may be cause for concern:
If your swelling or pain hasn’t reduced after a couple of days, it’s possible you’ve developed an infection. In this case, contact our office as soon as possible for treatment.
Dry socket, or alveolitis, is a condition that can result from the blood clot in the socket being lost. This blood clot aids the socket in recovering from the extraction, preventing infections from getting into your body.
Using a straw, spitting, and rinsing your mouth are all ways that you can dislodge the socket. Smokers are also more likely to develop dry socket.
Though unlikely, sometimes nerve injury can occur during an extraction. If you feel a tingling sensation and numbness in your tongue, lips, chin, or gums, you may have nerve damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a tooth extraction take?
A tooth extraction normally doesn’t take very long. The average time falls between 20 to 40 minutes.
What do I do after a tooth extraction?
After a tooth extraction, make sure you follow your post-operative care instructions carefully. Failure to do so may result in complications. You can treat any pain with over-the-counter pain medications.
How long after a tooth extraction can I eat?
You can eat after your tooth extraction, but ensure the food you’re eating is soft and won’t cause damage to your surgical site. Soft foods like soup, pudding, yogurt, and applesauce are recommended for the first 24 hours.
How long after a tooth extraction can I smoke?
As smoking can increase the risk of developing dry socket and other complications, you should avoid smoking for the first 24 hours after surgery.
How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
Most people can return to their daily lives the day after their extraction. Sometimes wisdom teeth extractions can take longer to recover from.
What do I do if the site of my extraction is infected?
If your extraction site is infected, call our office as soon as possible at (360) 675-6404 so we can help you.
Is a tooth extraction painful?
You shouldn’t experience much pain during the procedure because you’ll be administered anesthetic. Our office can also give you oral conscious sedation to help you relax.
Should I feel pain in the days after my tooth extraction?
You may feel some pain after your extraction, but this can be remedied with over-the-counter pain medication. If your pain lasts for over three days and is severe, you may have an infection.
Can a tooth extraction cause other teeth to hurt?
The nerves of some of your teeth are connected, so you may feel pain in some of your other teeth for a short amount of time.
Gentle Tooth Extraction Care
At our office, our experienced dentists can perform an extraction that you won’t have to worry about. To learn more about how we can help you, call our office at (360) 675-6404 or fill out the contact form available on the page. We’ll get right back to you.