4 Common Questions About Having A Tooth Extracted

Do you need to visit the dentist to have a tooth extracted? If so, you may have a few questions about the procedure prior to having it done. 

How Is A Tooth Extracted? 

The process starts by using local anesthesia so that you cannot feel anything, with the option of using dental sedation. The dentist will use a special tool known as an elevator to loosen the tooth and then will remove it using forceps. They'll close up the gums with stitches or may leave it open to heal on its own, which depends on every patient's unique situation.

How Long Is The Recovery Process?

It will take about a week or two for the empty socket to heal, and then several weeks until the gums have fully healed. The total length of time depends on how complex the extraction process was. For example, a larger tooth that leaves a larger socket will require more time to heal. You can expect some pain and discomfort after a tooth extraction. Thankfully, you can manage the pain by using over-the-counter medications. 

How Do You Care For Yourself After A Tooth Is Extracted? 

Your dentist will likely recommend using an ice pack to reduce the swelling since it helps prevent blood from flowing to the area and having it get larger. You'll also want to use gauze to prevent the area from bleeding, which can be done by lighting by biting down on some clean gauze so that it can absorb the blood. 

You'll want to avoid certain activities that can cause dry sockets. This includes activities that can put a lot of pressure on the socket and dislodge a blood clot, such as drinking through a straw or smoking. You also want to not rinse your mouth with water by using vigorous swishing, since that can disrupt the blood clot as well. Stick to eating softer foods during the first few days to prevent something hard from coming in contact with your gums while they are healing. 

Are There Risks To Getting A Tooth Extracted? 

There are other potential complications that can come up after a tooth extraction procedure. Your mouth or tongue may feel a little numb or give you a tingling sensation while it is recovering. You can also get an infection from the surgical site, which will need to be treated with antibiotics.

Reach out to your dentist if you have questions about getting a tooth extraction