Having a tooth extracted is a common dental procedure, and yet it is one which often causes patients a lot of distress. Some of this anxiety results from the fear of the unknown, but we’re here to put your mind at rest. When it is absolutely necessary to have a tooth removed, for example through overcrowding, damage or decay beyond repair, here are 10 things to be aware of after an extraction.


  1. You won’t feel a thing during the procedure, but after the pain medication wears off you will start to feel a bit uncomfortable. Your dentist will completely numb the area to perform the extraction and you won’t feel a thing. If you are still particularly nervous about having this procedure, talk to us about our sedation dentistry which induces a state of deep relaxation to help you overcome any previous fears you might have had about having dental work done. Afterwards, barring any complications, you should be able to control the pain using over the counter pain relief.


  1. After your tooth is pulled, a blood clot normally forms in the empty socket. In some cases, you might also have a few self-dissolving stitches to close the gum edges – these will dissolve as your gum heals so you won’t need to come back and have them removed.


  1. Your dentist will give you a gauze pad to bite down on to help reduce the bleeding after the extraction. It is best to keep these pads in place for a few hours after the extraction, although you should replace them if they become soaked with blood.


  1. Arrange to have someone with you on the day of your extraction, so they can drive you home safely afterwards.


  1. Initial recovery normally takes a few days and as the anaesthetic wears off you will start to feel some pain and discomfort around the extraction site – this is normal. To manage it, take the painkillers your dentist recommended and relax. The site should be fully healed in two weeks, after which your dentist might recommend that you consider dental implants.


  1. Eating can be the last thing on your mind after an extraction, but it’s important that you still try to get some nutrients in. Stick to liquids or soft foods like soups and yogurts and add solid foods slowly as you heal. Try to chew on the other side of your mouth until your gums are fully healed.


  1. Brushing your teeth after an extraction is still important to prevent infection – but you must take care not to touch the extraction site otherwise you could dislodge the blood clot, which results in a painful condition called ‘dry socket’. If this happens, the bone and nerves underneath the extracted tooth are exposed, leading to pain and potential infection. Talk to your dentist about this straight away if you experience an increase in pain after your extraction.


  1. Some things not to do after your extraction – don’t use a straw to drink fluids for at least 24 hours after your operation (this can dislodge the blood clot), don’t smoke, don’t rinse or spit forcefully, and don’t drink alcohol.


  1. Use a salt water solution at home to keep your mouth clean and aid the healing process. After 24 hours following your extraction, mix a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gently swish this around your mouth twice a day for a week to help keep the area clean as it heals.


  1. Your dentist might want to see you again after the extraction to check that the site is healing properly, or to talk to you about the next stages of your tooth care plan. If you remove a tooth, it can sometimes cause the other teeth to shift in your mouth, which changes your bite. For this reason, your dentist may want to assess you for dental implants to ensure your jaw and teeth aren’t negatively impacted by the extraction.
Published On: November 29th, 2017 / Categories: General /

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