What am I to expect after a tooth removal ?
- Numbness: After a tooth removal, the feeling of numbness will start to wear off 2-4 hours after the extraction. Avoid chewing your food or drink hot or cold beverages in the area in question. Due to the local anaesthesia the area will be numb, pressure on this area may cause accidentally burning or biting of the lips, tongue and the inside of your cheek . Be cautious until the feeling has returned.
- Bleeding: In order to control and stop the bleeding, fold the gauze into a small pack and place over the extraction site. There should be firm pressure on the that site. Maintain firm biting pressure on the gauze for one to two hours. One can expect for the removal site to bleed slightly or drip blood for 12 – 24 hours following surgery.
- Discomfort and pain: Discomfort is reduced by medication. However, do not take aspirin products due to the possible increase in bleeding potential. If prescription medications were prescribed by your dentist please follow the instructions on the label carefully. For most extractions, ibuprofen or paracetamol will provide good pain relief. Do not take more than recommended daily dosage of any medication. For serious side effects or allergic reactions seek medical care immediately.
- Swelling: Sometimes swelling might occur following a tooth removal. For the first 2-8 hours after surgery, ice packs should be applied to the outside of the face over the area of the extraction site. The ice pack should be held in place for 15 minutes or so and then removed for 15 minutes. This will help reduce the posible swelling.
What can I do to make the healing faster ?
To increase the chances of quick healing, a liquid or soft diet should be followed for the first 12-24 hours after an extraction. It is important to drink plenty of fluids for the first few days after an extraction.
- Tooth brushing will still be necessary even the day of the tooth removal. Clean the rest of your mouth as usual but avoid bumping or brushing the extraction site. Do not rinse your mouth or use mouthwash for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours use a mild salty mouthwash 2 – 3 times a day.
- Patient should follow indications regarding smoking. Do not smoke for 24 hours after the extraction as there is an increased risk of Dry Socket and infection.
- If you had sutures placed they will dissolve on their own and may come out any time after surgery. You may notice that they are loose after the swelling of your gum tissue decreases. This is completely normal.
- As with any surgical procedure there is a risk of infection. This is called Dry Socket. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot is dislodged from the surgery site exposing the bone and fine nerve endings. This condition is more common in back teeth, particularly wisdom teeth, although it can occur in any extraction site.
- Dry socket occurs two or more days after an extraction and can last 5-6 days. The symptoms associated with dry socket are moderate to severe pain, bad taste, bad smell and poor blood clot formation in the socket. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact the clinic for further advice, examination and medication prescription.