Tooth Extractions

It is removal of tooth from the mouth due to one or many reasons.

It is removal of tooth from the mouth due to one or many reasons.

Reasons for extracting teeth

  • Tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired.
  • To prepare the mouth for alignment of teeth (orthodontics).
  • Infection - If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp.
  • Risk of infection - If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving radiation or are having an organ transplant).
  • Gum disease - Infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth that have caused loosening of the teeth.

What to expect with tooth extraction

  • Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions under an injection of a local anaesthetic (or pain medicine) to numb the area.
  • Once the tooth has been extracted, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and get you to bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches, usually self-dissolving, to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

Post Extraction care

  • Recovery typically takes a few days.
  • Take painkillers as prescribed or over the counter products suggested by your dentist - such as ibuprofen, diclofenac or paracetamol. Antibiotics might be prescribed in infected cases.
  • Bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket for half hour after the extraction.
  • Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep down bleeding and swelling. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Limit activity for the next day or two.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for six hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.
  • Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not smoke, as it can inhibit healing.
  • Eat cold and softer foods (such as icecream, milkshakes, yoghurt etc) the day after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.
  • When lying down, prop your head up with pillows. Lying flat may prolong bleeding.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but avoid the extraction site. Doing so will help prevent infection.