Surgical removal of one or more teeth is considered a routine practice in any dental care facility. As a patient, you’ll want to heal as quickly as possible to eliminate discomfort and the risk of an infection. Aftercare begins the moment you leave our office, so take note of the best practices to ensure that you have great results.
The First 24 Hours
An extraction that requires anesthesia stronger than local injections could result in some mild side effects soon after the procedure. It’s important to keep your mouth clean, especially if nausea results in vomiting as the anesthesia wears off. Rinse gently if necessary, but never spit forcefully in a way that could dislodge the blood clot at the extraction site. Change gauze as often as needed if the area is bleeding, apply ice if you experience swelling, and stick to soft foods throughout the first day.
After the First Day
You should feel fine to return to normal activities the day following a tooth extraction, but don’t push yourself too hard. Solid foods are okay as long as it doesn’t cause discomfort that may cause further irritation. Brush and floss twice a day as normal in the areas that are not sensitive to ensure that there is a lower chance of infection. You may also rinse with a warm salt water solution to dislodge any foods and promote healing.
Things to Avoid
Common sense is a great tool for tooth extraction aftercare because you’ll often know what activities are going to cause discomfort and irritation. If you happen to be a smoker, it’s important to avoid it entirely because it will slow down the rate of healing. Drinking through a straw isn’t allowed for at least 24 hours because this often causes a painful dry socket.
Complex extractions that require cutting an impacted tooth or removing several broken pieces can result in a longer healing time. If stitches are needed to protect the extraction site, they will dissolve on their own to eliminate the need for a follow-up visit. Rest assured that at North View Dental, we will set your tooth extraction aftercare expectations according to the specific procedural steps that you require. If you have any additional questions about an extraction or you’re ready to set an appointment, we encourage you to give us a call. We pride ourselves on providing a comfortable and professional environment so that you always receive the best care possible.