While there are many reasons why family dentists perform tooth extractions, they are all intended as a last resort to keep your mouth healthy. Whether you’re removing a severely decayed tooth or a set of wisdom teeth, knowing what to expect after the procedure can help ease your mind and allow you to recover faster. Learn below what you’ll notice and feel in the hours after you leave the dental office, as well as essential care tips for healing the extraction site.
Once you arrive home, you will experience a few typical post-procedure symptoms. These include minor discomfort, some swelling, and light bleeding for a few hours afterward. Inflammation and sensitivity should only last for a couple of days. Your provider will give you instructions to prevent complications and help keep you comfortable.
While rare, patients can develop a condition called dry socket. Call your family dentist office if you are in severe pain a few days after the treatment. You should also let them know if you experience discomfort that radiates from your tooth extraction site to your ears, eyes, or neck. Other signs of the condition include a foul odor coming from the socket, no blood clot, or visible bone at the site.
By following your doctor’s aftercare plan, you can avoid dry socket and get back to normal as quickly as possible. Keep a gauze pad on the extraction site for three to four hours until bleeding stops, swapping the dirty one out for a clean one as necessary. If your mouth feels tender, you can apply an ice pack to the outside of your cheek for up to 10 minutes at a time. You can also use an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Eat soft foods for a couple of days until your mouth gets the chance to begin healing. Re-introduce harder foods slowly. Do not smoke or drink through a straw for four to five days. This will help the wound form a blood clot so it can heal properly. After 24 hours, rinse the area with salt water to keep it clean. Try to rest for a day after the removal. If you have any questions, call your dental care provider.
Dr. Greg Blome, DDS, and his skilled staff at Blome Family Dentistry of Lancaster County, NE, are experienced in a variety of dental procedures for preventing and treating tooth problems and gum disease. Whether you need a root canal, tooth filling, or something else entirely, they’ll provide you with professional, compassionate care every step of the way. To make an appointment to discuss a tooth extraction, call (402) 483-7000 or use their scheduling tool online. Discover tips for caring for your teeth at home on their Facebook page.