It can happen to any of us: a tooth needs to get pulled. Most often, it’s a wisdom tooth that will require extraction, as these teeth can cause issues when they erupt (come up.)
The procedure itself is straightforward: the dentist will numb the area or sedate you and remove the tooth. You may simply feel some pressure as the tooth is removed but should feel no pain. The dentist may stitch up the area and prescribe some medications. Afterward, there will be some recovery time.
What to Expect Right After the Extraction
After the extraction, you will still feel numb for some time. Your dentist will often prescribe some antibiotics and give you instructions on how to care for the area. You may need to stick to soft foods, such as applesauce and mashed potatoes, for a few days to allow the best recovery.
Once the numbing medication wears off, you may feel some pain, which is normal, so you should take any pain medications as recommended by your dentist. If you have a gauze pad, be sure to bite down on it gently and change it every few hours. A little bit of bleeding is normal. You may also have instructions to ice the area to reduce swelling, which also my occur in the first twenty-four hours. If you ice, don’t do so for more than twenty minutes at a time, since this can cause more swelling if done excessively.
You’ll need to avoid drinking from a straw, rinsing, or spitting with force during this time, as you could dislodge your blood clot and cause a painful condition called dry socket. Be sure to relax during this time to avoid any excessive bleeding, and avoid smoking as it may slow your healing. Propping you head up if you lie down will also help the bleeding to subside.
If you notice any fever, nausea, vomiting, or excessive discharge from the extraction site, contact your dentist immediately. This could be a serious complication such as an infection.
What Will Happen A Few Days Later
As the site heals, you’ll notice gum and new bone growing into the area, filling in the extraction site. As you heal, you can gradually re-add solid foods to your diet, but you’ll need to start with gentler solid foods. Avoid hard to chew foods such as hard candies, nuts, and seeds, or anything that can easily get lodged into the incision site.
After the 24 hour mark, you can start rinsing your mouth with a gentle salt and water solution. If you have stitches, you may need to go back to the dentist in a week or two to have them removed. This is a simple, painless process that should only take a few minutes. During your recovery, be sure to keep brushing and flossing your teeth, avoiding the incision site until it heals.
Any Questions or Concerns About Your Recovery?
At Seven Lakes Dental, we want to make sure you have the easiest and most pain-free recovery possible. If you have any questions or concerns, or suspect you’re having any complications with your extraction in the Marysville, WA or Smokey Point area, reach out to us today.