Why Have a Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is a common procedure done to remove a tooth that may be severely decayed, affected by advanced periodontal disease, or broken beyond repair. Sometimes teeth may be extracted because of poor positioning, crowding, or to prepare a patient for orthodontic treatment. Tooth extraction can cause chewing problems, jaw problems, and have other effects on dental health, which is why Dr. Coyne often discusses alternatives to extraction with patients.
How Are Tooth Extractions Done?
First, Dr. Coyne numbs the tooth, jawbone, and gums in the affected area with a local anesthetic. Then, the tooth is firmly rocked back and forth and removed. The extraction itself causes a sensation of pressure, though pain should not be an issue thanks to the local anesthetic. If at any time you feel pain, let your team at Coyne Oral Surgery know immediately.
In some cases, a tooth may be “sectioned.” This process of cutting the tooth into sections and removing it occurs when the tooth is anchored into the socket in a way that the socket cannot be widened enough to remove the tooth.
What Happens After Tooth Extraction?
Following a tooth extraction, the priority is aiding blood clotting in order to stop bleeding and start healing. Your team at Coyne Oral Surgery will have you bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes or longer if bleeding or oozing persists.
Once clotting is established, the priority is to not disturb the clot. Patients are instructed not to rinse the area vigorously, use straws, smoke, consume alcohol, or brush teeth in the vicinity of the extraction area for 72 hours, as these actions may dislodge the clot and slow the healing process. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for the 24 hours following the procedure, as exercise can increase blood pressure and disturb the clot.
Following extraction, there may be some pain and swelling. An ice pack applied to the area can manage swelling. Swelling typically subsides after approximately 48 hours. Pain medication may be taken as prescribed. Only use as directed. If medication does not seem to be working, call our office. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue use for the full duration prescribed – even if signs and symptoms of infection are no longer present. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious, soft foods will also help with recovery.
After the initial 24 hours post-op, it’s important to resume your standard dental hygiene routine of daily brushing and flossing. After a few days, most patients are able to resume normal activities. Call our office at (615) 771-0017 if you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, reactions to medication, or if swelling continues for two to three days.