Extractions in Lake Worth, FL

Older Woman with Toothache | Lake Worth DentistExtractions are completed when a tooth/teeth is not restorable, is not worth restoring, or a patient wants it removed. This can be due to a large cavity (decay), gum disease, the tooth may be broken, or there is not enough room for a wisdom tooth to erupt. Tooth removal is generally a simple process that involves using a local anesthetic so the area is completely numb, followed by gently wiggling the bad tooth out of the mouth. We take great care to prevent trauma to surrounding tissues. You will be recommended to see the oral surgeon for very difficult teeth and wisdom teeth. The oral surgeon has experience and knowledge to handle these extractions easily.

Once a tooth/teeth is removed, there is a hole or socket present. This space will fill in over the next few weeks starting with a clot that forms within hours of the tooth being removed. A folded piece of gauze is immediately placed directly over the removal site, and the patient closes down gently over the gauze. This acts as a sort of Band-Aid, which allows the healing process to begin. After about one week, the patient is typically unaware they had a tooth removed, and a few weeks later the hole is filled in.

If tooth replacement is decided upon, there may be several options to choose from including bridges, implants, partial dentures, etc. There are many factors, which determine the option that is best for each individual. We will discuss these options thoroughly with you to make sure you understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives for each one.

After Oral Surgery Care

Bleeding: When a tooth is removed, generally a small piece of gauze is folded up and placed over the extraction site. This puts pressure on the area and helps the clot to form. You should keep this in place with very light biting pressure for about 40-45 minutes. Do not replace the gauze unless there is still some bleeding. In this case, try another 30 minutes or so. If still some light bleeding, try placing a moist tea bag over the site for about 15 minutes. This is an old trick that works pretty well. Always call the emergency line for the office if concerned. Do not suck through a straw or smoke cigarettes as the sucking motion can dislodge the forming clot. REMEMBER: A little bit of blood and a lot of saliva looks like a lot of blood. Some redness in the saliva for a few hours after is normal.

Smiling Couple | Dentist Lake Worth FlRinsing: Do not rinse with anything the day of the extraction/surgery. The next day, you can rinse with warm salt water. Heat up a small cup of water in the microwave or on the stove. Dissolve in about a teaspoon full of salt. Let cool down to almost room temperature. Slowly pour some of the water into your mouth. Do not swish vigorously! Just let the water roll around and then let it out into the sink. Repeat if desired and so this twice per day for the next 3-4 days.

Swelling: Some swelling is perfectly normal after an extraction. This is part of the healing process. Typically swelling will last for a few days (2-4). A minority of people won't have any swelling, and others may last for up to a week. If you have swelling longer than a week or swelling beyond the area where the tooth was taken out, call our office immediately. If the swelling is affecting swallowing or breathing, go to the emergency room.

Eating: A soft diet is very important for the first few days. The day of your surgery, only consume foods you can easily swallow without chewing (ex. Boost, Ensure, yogurt, soup). The next two days keep it soft (anything you can easily push through with the side of a fork). The fourth day and on, chew as it is comfortable. By about a week you should be back to almost normal.

Pain relief: For simple extractions, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is generally the best medication. We usually prescribe a stronger medication to be used if needed. Pain meds should be taken according to the guidelines. 

Brushing:  Continue brushing and flossing, being extra gentle near the extraction site. It is ok to stay a tooth or two away from the extraction site for the first few days.

Call Palms Dental Care if any questions or concerns.