While we always want to do everything possible to save patients teeth, occasionally removal of the tooth is the only option we are left with.
Excessive tooth decay, infections, unrestorable teeth broken to the gumline, teeth that loosen up from periodontal disease – these are some of the examples when extractions might be necessary.
Most extractions are relatively quick procedures performed in the office under local anesthetic. For patients struggling with severe dental anxiety we offer complete sedation. More challenging cases are usually referred to our local friendly oral surgeons.
Post-Op Care After a Tooth Extraction
During the first 24 hours is it very important to not interfere with the blood clot that is forming on the extraction site. This blood clot will help stop the bleeding, reduce pain and start the initial healing. To protect the blood clot:
- Bite on the sterile gauze for 15-30 minutes to help stop bleeding. It is normal to experience some oozing for as long as 24 hours after extraction.
- Don’t spit, don’t drink through a straw, don’t rinse your mouth, don’t brush or floss near the site
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco,
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Do your best not to sneeze or cough excessively (try to postpone extraction if you are having a cold)
- Avoid hot foods and drinks.
- Take pain medications to control discomfort. We recommend starting with 400mg of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours for pain control. if you are not tolerating ibuprofen well, Tylenol can work just as well.
- Use a cold compress to minimize swelling if needed.
- When the numbness is gone, please keep yourself well hydrated (avoid hot drinks and don’t use a straw for drinking) and stick with soft nutritious foods. I usually recommend smoothies.
After 24 Hours:
- You can start brushing and flossing in the area; be gentle!
- Rinse the extraction site with home-made saline (clean warm salty water) in the mornings, evenings, and after each meal
- If there is persistent swelling – use moist heat
- If there are signs of infection in the area, please call the office as soon as possible. You can use clove oil to help with infection in the area – dab a drop of clove oil on a Q-tip and gently apply to the extraction area.
Replacement of Missing Teeth
It is important to discuss tooth replacement options after extractions. Unless the extracted teeth are wisdom teeth, it is important to replace missing teeth to prevent bite changes in the area. We offer patients 3 choices to replace missing teeth:
Dental Implants. Replacing a missing tooth with an implant is a long-term successful option as long as there is enough good quality bone available. The procedure has 2 separate parts to it. First, the implant is selected and placed by a surgeon or a prosthodonist. Then the body takes its time to heal around the implant post – it takes 4-6 months. Once the implant is well integrated, we take over the treatment in our office and fabricate the implant crown that is attached to the healed implant post. This is a painless and quick procedure.
Dental Bridges. To replace a missing tooth with a bridge requires placing crowns on the teeth next to the missing one. The treatment takes less time than implant (2-3 weeks as opposed to 4-6 months). The bridge will require excellent hygiene to prevent decay under the crowns.
Removable Partial Dentures. In cases where the bone quality is poor, or patient is missing multiple teeth, a removable appliance is considered. Its fabrication is painless and quick, however most patents don’t get the same comfort and stability with removable dentures as permanent options (implants and bridges) provide.
Please contact us at (303) 499-0367 to discuss what option for replacing missing teeth would work best for YOU!