Tooth extractions are one of the procedures that patients tend to ask questions about the most. Having wisdom teeth pulled is often one of the first major dental treatments that older teens and young adults experience.
We’ll do our part to provide you with gentle dental care that reduces pain and anxiety. You can also use this checklist to feel more in control over your recovery.
#1 Clear Your Schedule
Speaking of relaxing, most people need to take the rest of the day off work or from school. If you have small children at home, then you might also want to appoint someone to look after them. You will still be able to get small things done around the house, but it is better to rest and let your body heal.
#2 Keep the Bleeding Under Control
Tooth removal does cause trauma to your gums. Bleeding at the extraction site is normal for the first day. You’ll leave the office with instructions to bite down on gauze for the first several hours. You can replace the gauze as it becomes saturated, but you’ll need to keep it in place.
#3 Enjoy Your Favorite Soft Foods
A soft food diet includes more options than just applesauce. You can enjoy a savory soup provided that it is not too hot. Scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and smoothies are a few more ideas that can keep you nourished until you can gradually transition to your normal diet.
#4 Remember to Take Your Medication
Your dentist might prescribe painkillers. If we do, then it is important to take them as directed. Certain types help to relieve inflammation, and this can improve the healing process.
Depending upon thereason for your extraction, you might also be directed to take antibiotics. Remembering to take the medicine helps to prevent an infection. Setting an alarm is an effective way to make sure that you don’t miss a dose.
Many patients only need to use over-the-counter pain relievers. If this is the case, taking medicine before the pain gets out of control gives you a better chance of avoiding severe discomfort.
#5 Prevent Dry Socket
After a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in its place. This clot helps to protect the underlying bone and nerves while the extraction site heals. Dry socket is a painful condition that occurs if the clot gets dislodged or breaks down.
Activities that create suction in your mouth can pull the clot out. Avoiding drinking through straws and smoking helps to keep the clot in its place. It is also best to avoid food or drinks that are extremely hot since they could dissolve the clot.
We’ll give you instructions on when and how to brush your teeth after the extraction. Making sure to avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting is another way to prevent developing dry socket.
Saving a tooth is always our preferred treatment. If a tooth cannot be preserved, then an extraction sets you up for better oral health. Your recovery begins before you leave our office. Make sure to ask questions to confirm that you know what to do when you get home.
If a concern arises at any point during the recovery period, just give us a call. We can check to make sure that you are comfortable and healing properly.