Dental Extraction Aftercare: Questions and Answers

No one looks forward to tooth extractions. No one wants an incomplete smile. Dental extractions, however, are sometimes necessary to ensure healthy teeth. This form of dental procedure may even be part of an orthodontic or cosmetic procedure. Dentists also extract their patients’ teeth to fit implants and dentures.


Dental extractions are one of the most common dental treatments. Most people will have to have this type of treatment at some point in their life. A dentist may have to extract a patient’s tooth or teeth due to extreme decay, overcrowding, or to prevent the spread of infection. Tooth extraction may also be necessary due to gum disease, impaction due to wisdom teeth, and severe damage from trauma.


Following a dental extraction, aftercare is one of the most important aspects of faster and proper healing. Whatever the reason behind the tooth extraction, you need to take good care of your teeth to expedite the healing process. If you are planning to undergo a dental extraction, you may have some fears and/or questions about the procedure. This article aims to answer some of those questions.


How Long Will It Take Before You Can Comfortably Eat After the Procedure?


As long as you do not bite food directly using the site of extraction, you can eat food within a few hours. If your dentist extracts more than one tooth from the same side of your mouth, however, you should use the other side of your mouth to chew your food. That said, it is extremely important to follow your dentist’s advice and instructions, especially if you underwent a complicated extraction.


How Much Discomfort and Pain Should You Expect?


When the local anesthetic your dentist uses wears off, you should expect some discomfort around the site of extraction. However, he/she will recommend a specific over-the-counter pain medication if necessary. It is important to take your pain medication according to your dentist’s instructions.


You should also let him/her know if you start to experience too much pain and/or discomfort. Areas of your mouth with larger teeth may take longer to heal due to the larger tooth extraction site. Your dentist may choose to place a suture to close the tissue around the extraction site. In most cases, however, sutures are not necessary. As long as you have follow-up care and good oral hygiene, the tissue around the area will heal properly.


How Long Will the Bleeding Last?


Usually, most of the bleeding takes place immediately after the procedure. This is why dentists place gauze over the extraction site for their patients to bite down on. Applying pressure to the area will stem the heaviest bleeding quickly. Sometimes, however, the tooth extraction side may bleed on and off for 12 to 24 hours.


This should not make you panic. The tooth extraction site needs to clot properly to halt the bleeding. When you look into your mouth after a dental extraction procedure, you will see a darker area around the extraction area. The clot/material that forms in your gum tissue is a sign that your body is trying to stop the bleeding to promote the healing process.


Learn more about dental extractions, contact Clarity Dental Center in Federal Way, Washington at (253) 799-1490 to book an appointment.

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