A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are preformed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay, infection, and trauma. Extraction of teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment are also routinely preformed.
Extractions are often categorized as "simple" or "surgical." Simple extractions are preformed on teeth that are visible in the mouth and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible part of the tooth. Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not fully erupted.
After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site. You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- ...and other food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.