Tooth Extraction Procedure and Recovery

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Reasons for needing a tooth extraction

reasons for needing a tooth extraction - Century Smile Dental - Culver City, CA

Surgically removing a tooth is necessary for several reasons. Among these reasons are tooth decay, gum disease, crowded teeth, impacted teeth, and tooth breakage. However, once dental trauma or decay occurs on teeth, it is vital to take proper steps to ensure the issue does not spread to other teeth. In this case, a tooth extraction is necessary.

Before the tooth extraction

Dr. Maryam Talai - Century Smile Dental - Culver City, Century City

To prevent nausea before, during, and after the surgery, your dentist may require you to fast 12 hours before the procedure. That only applies if general anesthesia is needed. As a result of general anesthesia, you will remain unconscious for the duration of the procedure. If your issue isn’t as severe, local anesthetics may be used to completely numb the extraction area so you don’t feel any pain.

During the tooth extraction

The process takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on whether you need a general or a local anesthetic. After the area is thoroughly numbed, your dentist will loosen the tooth extracted from the gum with an elevator device.

Dr. Maryam Talai - Century Smile Dental - Culver City, Century City

An elevator is a dental device used before extraction to loosen the tooth and make it easier to pull.

Once the tooth is loosened, your dentist will use forceps and place them around the tooth. Once secure, the dentist will remove the tooth from your gum socket and jawbone. This completes the tooth extraction process.

The Recovery Process

After procedures like a tooth extraction, recovery time is short. However, the extraction site should heal within a few days following the procedure. The following steps will assist in securing and speeding up the healing process:

  • To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to your cheek after surgery. Intervals of 10 minutes are recommended. 
  • To aid blood clot formation, your dentist will place gauze over the affected area and ensure you bite down on it. After the surgery, you should keep the gauze on for about 3-4 hours or until you notice blood saturation on the gauze.
  • To reduce pain after the procedure, you should take any medications (painkillers) prescribed by your doctor.
  • It is essential to rest for the first 24 hours following surgery and not jump back into your routine immediately. 
  • During the first 24 hours following the procedure, refrain from using a straw or rinsing your mouth, and spit out any liquids gently. 
  • During your recovery, do not smoke at all. Consider quitting.
  • When you’re lying down during the recovery process, prop your head up
  • Make sure you avoid the extraction site as much as possible when brushing and flossing 
  • After surgery, make sure you eat soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce, pudding, and soups (cooled down).
  • The extraction site should be cleaned after 24 hours with warm water and add half a teaspoon of salt.
  • Once you have adequately healed, slowly introduce a regular diet.

Contact your dentist immediately if you’re still experiencing pain after several days or have signs of infection such as fever, pain, pus, or drainage from the extraction site.

See our Comprehensive Guide on Tooth Extraction

Our Comprehensive Guide on Tooth Extractions covers the following topics and more advanced topics to help you make an informed decision about tooth extractions and ideas on what to consider when replacing an extracted tooth:

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