How Houston, TX area patients can care for themselves after tooth extraction
The team at Vivid Dental provides a wide selection of dental treatments for a number of situations. In some cases, the dentist may suggest tooth extraction. This may be done for a number of reasons. Some teeth may be extracted because of severe areas of decay, periodontal disease, or breakage. Some may be removed to prepare for orthodontic treatment (such as that for overcrowding the dental arch) and others may be removed due to impaction. Whatever the reason, the team at Vivid Dental can help.
The extraction process is done under local anesthetics to numb the tooth and the area around it for patient comfort. Patients may feel some pressure during the removal, but should not feel pain. Depending on the size of the tooth and the way it is anchored in the mouth, the dentist may need to section the tooth and remove it in pieces.
Patients are sent home with specific aftercare instructions. At home, patients need to take good care of their teeth and gums after an extraction to avoid the development of infection. Patients can expect some bleeding for an up to an hour after the extraction, but this can be controlled with gauze provided by the dentist. It should be moistened and placed over the socket. Patients should bite down firmly to reduce bleeding.
Patients must also understand that the blood will clot in the socket, but this is an important part of the healing process and it should be left alone. Patients are told to avoid rinsing, spitting, using straws, drinking hot liquids, or smoking for approximately 24 hours after the extraction to keep the clot in place to facilitate healing.
To control any pain or discomfort, patients can use over-the-counter pain medications including ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Patients should avoid chewing and stay on a liquid diet for the remainder of the day, sometimes 48 hours depending on comfort. Patients should avoid brushing near the site of extraction as well but can rinse with salt water after as directed by the doctor.
If patients notice any sign of infection, swelling, or dry socket after their tooth is extracted, they are encouraged to contact the dentist to schedule a follow-up appointment to investigate the cause of the concern.