Gum disease can loosen or severely damage a tooth. A tooth that is severely damaged may need to be removed. Your dentist or a surgeon who specializes in surgeries of the mouth (oral and maxillofacial surgeon) can remove a tooth.
At Venu Dental Clinic we only believe in extraction as a very last resort. Dr Venu Gopal will always aim to take a conservative approach, trying to save the tooth in all possible cases. In many cases, other treatments such as a root canal can be an option which allows the affected tooth to be saved. However, when a tooth cannot be saved, removal of the tooth may be the only course of treatment.
The team at Venu Dental understand that losing a tooth can be quite traumatic for patients. Not only does it affect the overall aesthetic appearance of a smile but it will also begin to affect the function as well. After an extraction, Dr Venu Gopal will go through with each patient the viable options for replacing the tooth. Advanced Dental Care Clinic offer patients the option of dental implants, crowns, bridges and dentures to help treat tooth loss. We will ensure you feel relaxed and at ease throughout any treatment.
What to do following an extraction?
In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. The following will help speed recovery:
Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. To help relieve pain and swelling, apply an ice or cold pack to the outside of your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass [8 fl oz (240 mL)] of warm water. Do not rinse hard. This can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue.
Do not use sucking motions, such as when using a straw to drink.
Continue to carefully brush your teeth and tongue.
After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time, and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed.
What precautions should I take?
Avoid hot food or drinks until the anaesthetic wears off. This is important as you cannot feel pain properly and may burn or scald your mouth. Also be careful not to chew your cheek. This is quite a common problem, which can happen when there is no feeling.
If you do rest, try to keep your head higher for the first night using an extra pillow if possible. It is also a good idea to use an old pillowcase, or put a towel on the pillow, in case you bleed a little.
Should I rinse my mouth out?
Do not be tempted to rinse the area for the first 24 hours. It is important to allow the socket to heal, and you must be careful not to damage the blood clot by eating on that side or letting your tongue disturb it. This can allow infection into the socket and affect healing.
Is there anything else I should avoid?
Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, as this can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Eat and drink lukewarm food as normal but avoid chewing on that area of your mouth.
When should I brush?
It is just as important, if not more so, to keep your mouth clean after an extraction. However, you do need to be careful around the extraction site.
Is there anything I can do to help my mouth?
Different people heal at different speeds after an extraction. It is important to keep your mouth and the extraction site as clean as possible, making sure that the socket is kept clear of all food and debris. Don't rinse for the first 24 hours, and this will help your mouth to start healing. After this time use a salt-water mouthwash, which helps to heal the socket. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water gently rinsed around the socket twice a day can help to clean and heal the area. Keep this up for at least a week or for as long as your dentist tells you.
It is important to keep to a healthy diet; and take a Vitamin C supplement, which will help your mouth to heal.
I am in pain, what should I take?
There will usually be some tenderness in the area for the first few days, and in most cases some simple pain relief is enough to ease the discomfort. What you would normally take for a headache should be enough. However, always follow the manufacturer's instructions and if in doubt check with your doctor first. Do not take aspirin, as this will make your mouth bleed.
Are there any medicines I should avoid?
As we have said, it is important not to use anything containing aspirin as this can cause further bleeding. This happens because aspirin can thin the blood slightly. Asthma sufferers should avoid Ibuprofen-based pain relief. Again check with your chemist or dentist if you are worried or feel you need something stronger.
Will my dentist need to see me again?
f it has been a particularly difficult extraction, the dentist will give you a follow-up appointment. This could be to remove any stitches that were needed, or simply to check the area is healing well.
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