You and Dr. Malan may determine that you need a tooth extraction for a number of different reasons. For example, some teeth may need to be extracted because they are severely decayed, while others may have advanced periodontal disease, or they are broken in such a way that they cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or they may need to be prepared for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing abilities, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth. This can have a major impact on your dental health.
In most cases, Dr. Malan will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth to avoid these types of complications.
Sectioning a tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure that is done when a tooth is too firmly anchored in its socket, or the root is curved in such a way that the socket cannot expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections, thus removing each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth extraction is complete, it’s important for a blood clot to form in order 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 continues to persist, replace the gauze pad with fresh one, 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 well, as this will increase your blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted, you may experience swelling, and feel some pain. Apply an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas to the area to 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 foods on the day of the extraction. You can go back to eating normal foods 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 up the healing process, and help to keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days, you should begin to feel fine, and can resume your regular activities. If you experience heavy bleeding, severe pain, or continued swelling for 2-3 days, or have a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.