What to Know about Tooth Extraction
We do our best to provide quality dental care and proactive maintenance on your teeth so that it will never be necessary to perform an extraction. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, and an extraction is required. If you are going to have a tooth extracted here are some things that you should know about the procedure itself, and what you may expect afterwards.
What is a tooth extraction?
A tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from your mouth. Extractions can be either non-surgical or surgical in nature. When an extraction is surgical in nature that means it is necessary to cut through the gums in order to completely remove the tooth. It is not uncommon for what was expected to be a non-surgical extraction to become a surgical extraction in situations where the tooth fractures or will not come out without surgery.
Why would I have a tooth extracted?
Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, it is necessary to remove a tooth completely instead of attempting to repair it or placing a crown over it. This can occur when the tooth has been significantly damaged, either through trauma or through extensive decay. In such an event there may not be enough of the tooth left to support something such as a filling or a crown. In other cases, there might be sufficient amounts of the tooth to support such a procedure; however, the tooth itself may be weakened to the extent that your dentist may feel that the tooth will be unable to maintain its structural integrity under the everyday wear-and-tear of chewing.
Another reason for a tooth extraction would be in the case of a wisdom tooth that is coming in crooked or is not fully erupting. In these situations extraction is necessary to preserve the health of the teeth around the wisdom tooth. Left untreated a wayward wisdom tooth can result in extreme headaches, damage to the surrounding teeth, and serious hygiene issues.
What should I expect after an extraction?
After you have a tooth extracted you can expect some bleeding from the site followed by oozing of fluid. In addition, you will almost certainly experience some soreness and possibly moderate to severe levels of pain.
It is normal to experience bleeding for up to 12 hours after the procedure. After that point you should not have any serious levels of bleeding, although some minor bleeding may still occur. If you do experience serious bleeding more than 12 hours after the procedure you need to contact us immediately for further instructions. Although the bleeding should stop within 12 hours or so, it is not uncommon for you to experience a pink fluid seeping from your gums for a few days after the procedure.
Post-Extraction Care Instructions
If you can, you should try to manage your pain with over-the-counter mild analgesics such as Tylenol or Advil. Aleve may be appropriate for higher levels of pain. While it is almost certain that you will experience some pain, severe pain that lasts more than two or three days after the procedure has been completed might be an indication that you need follow-up attention. If you suffer severe pain for more than two or three days, please call us so that we can determine whether you need further attention.
Beginning 24 hours after your extraction you should gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water for 1 minute at a time at least twice a day. Continue this for 3 to 4 days to reduce the number of bacteria and facilitate the healing process.
For the first 24 hours after the process you should not disturb the surgery site, and should only eat soft foods. Do not vigorously rinse the area until 24 hours have passed.
If you think you might need a tooth extracted please give us a call at (503) 350-1234 to discuss you options today.
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4690 SW Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005