Dr. Plotnick may determine that you need a tooth extraction for various reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to issues related to your chewing ability, your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which may have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications Dr. Plotnick will discuss alternatives to extractions, as well as replacement options of the extracted tooth.
WHAT TO EXPECT
At the time of the extraction the doctor will numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth to widen the socket for removal.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves, stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away!
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 to 45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing 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 not to disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or chew on food 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 YOUR APPOINTMENT
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, including brushing and flossing. This will speed up healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you should feel fine, and be able to resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days, or a reaction to the medication, call our Williamsburg office immediately.