The dentist will make sure patients are comfortable before, during, and following the procedure, which includes the use of anesthetics and a step-by-step explanation of the process. If a patient feels uneasy about an upcoming tooth extraction, they should talk to their dentist and consider the following facts.
Basic Guidelines for Tooth Extraction
Sometimes, teeth must be removed because of trauma, disease, or decay. When a patient has a tooth pulled or removed, it is known as an extraction. Following an extraction, there may be some changes in the patient’s mouth, and the dentist might provide post-operative instructions. Patients should bring any concerns or questions to their dentist, and they can use the following general guidelines to prevent complications, speed healing, and be more comfortable.
Anesthetics Used During Tooth Extractions
Before an Escondido tooth extraction, the patient will receive an anesthetic to reduce their discomfort. The mouth may remain numb for several hours after the removal, and during this time, patients should be careful not to bite their tongues, cheeks, or lips. Following an extraction, don’t eat anything that requires chewing while the mouth is still numb. Post-anesthetic numbness should diminish within hours, and if it doesn’t, the patient should call the dentist.
Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction
A dentist may put a piece of gauze on the surgical site to inhibit bleeding, assist in the blood clotting process, and speed healing. The gauze should be left in the mouth for 30-45 minutes after leaving the office, and the patient shouldn’t chew on it. If oozing or bleeding occurs after the gauze is removed, the patient must:
Fold a clean piece of gauze into a pad that’s thick enough to bite. Dampen the gauze with warm, clean water and place it on the surgical site.
Apply firm pressure by clamping the teeth over the pad, and maintain it for approximately 30 minutes. If the pad is soaked through after that time, repeat the process with a clean piece of gauze.
Avoid sucking on the surgical site or disturbing it with the tongue, as this may dislodge a blood clot or prevent one from forming.
Remember that slight bleeding may occur until a clot is fully developed.
A small amount of blood mixed with saliva can look serious, but it usually isn’t. However, if prolonged heavy bleeding occurs, call the dentist for advice.
Don’t Disturb the Extraction Site
As previously mentioned, the blood’s natural clotting response is a crucial part of the healing process after tooth extractions in Escondido. Patients should avoid doing things that may disturb the clot, such as:
Avoiding vigorous rinsing or using a straw for at least 24 hours. Such actions create suction, which might dislodge the clot and slow healing.
Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages or using alcohol-containing mouthwashes for 24 hours following an extraction.
Before the surgery, talk to the dentist about quitting smoking. Patients should avoid smoking after an extraction.
Limit vigorous activity for at least 24 hours after the procedure. This reduces bleeding and helps the blood to clot faster.
In some cases, a clot may not form in the first 24-48 hours after an extraction, or it may develop but break down. The resulting condition is known as dry socket, which can be extremely painful and should be reported right away. The dentist may place dressing in the dry socket to protect it and reduce pain until it heals.
Oral Cleaning After an Extraction
After an extraction, the patient should not clean the teeth next to the socket for the remainder of the day. They should, however, carefully floss and brush the other teeth and begin cleaning the teeth surrounding the socket the following day. Patients can brush their tongues to eliminate the unpleasant taste and bad breath that sometimes follow an extraction.
The day after a tooth extraction in Escondido, the patient can gently rinse their mouth with lukewarm salt water to keep food particles out of the surgical site. It’s important not to rinse vigorously, as this may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing. Those with high blood pressure should talk to their dentist or doctor about the use of salt water, and they should avoid using mouthwash during early healing unless the dentist tells them to do so.
Medication Usage After a Tooth Extraction
If the dentist prescribes medicines to control inflammation, limit pain, and prevent infection, the patient should use them as directed. If pain medicines don’t seem to work, patients shouldn’t take a higher dosage or take them more often than recommended; rather, they should call the dentist.
Pain and Swelling Following a Tooth Extraction
After an Escondido tooth extraction, a patient may notice some swelling and discomfort, which is normal. To reduce pain and swelling, try applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area. The dentist may provide specific instructions on how often and how long to use cold compresses and ice packs.
When to Call for Medical Advice
If a patient has any of the below issues, they should call the dentist right away. If the dentist is unreachable, go to the nearest emergency room.
Vomiting, nausea, or fever
Severe or persistent pain, bleeding or swelling
Pain that doesn’t diminish with time
Drinking and Eating After a Tooth Extraction
After an extraction, patients should eat nutritious, soft foods and drink plenty of liquids. However, it’s important to avoid hot liquids like tea and coffee, as well as alcoholic beverages. For the first days after an extraction, make an effort to chew on the side of the mouth opposite from the surgical site. Don’t drink through a straw, and resume consumption of solid foods as soon as it’s comfortable to do so. If the patient has sutures (stitches) that must be removed, the dentist will tell them when to come back to the office.
Insurance Coverage for a Tooth Extraction
Most dental plans cover approximately 80% of the cost of tooth extractions in Escondido, as long as the procedure is a medical necessity and not done for cosmetic reasons. Patients should check with their insurer and/or dentist regarding their case and coverage.