Dental Extractions | Austin TX

Tooth Removal

Why do I need a tooth removed?

Teeth can be a source of pain, discomfort, and swelling causing a dental emergency. If the prognosis for a tooth is poor and is not restorable, it needs to be removed. Reasons why the prognosis is poor can be due to advanced gum disease, large amounts of decay, failed root canals, large tooth or root fractures, and include many others.

So is all tooth removal the same? Not really, and their difficulty of removal vary significantly as well. Regardless of the level of difficulty, great care is always taken to minimize the discomfort of the procedure.

What should you expect when getting a tooth extraction?

Certain steps can be taken to help the procedure can go smoothly, but tooth removal is considered surgery. Local anesthetic is always used and helps the patient get numb. The anesthetic helps patients not feel sharp pain, but the pressure sensors are not numb so the sensation of pushing and pulling is still felt. When the tooth comes out there should be minor bleeding that is controlled by firm pressure with gauze for 30 minutes. The pain from straight forward extractions can be managed with over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. More difficult extractions require more significant pain management.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.