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Tooth Extractions

Unfortunately, sometimes a tooth simply reaches the end of its life, and nothing can save it. Perhaps it’s become so severely damaged due to trauma that there are no restorative measures possible, or maybe the level of decay is so bad that a filling wouldn’t be doable. When that happens, there can be little choice but to extract the tooth. Wisdom teeth, of course, often need to be extracted in order to relieve the pain caused when they don’t come in properly. So, regular tooth and wisdom tooth extractions being sometimes inevitable, there are certain things that you should know.

Before you have your extraction, it would be best if you didn’t take any pain medications, or drink alcohol. Either could affect the effectiveness of the anesthetic. If you are on any medication, you should tell your dentist. Also let your dentist know if you have any medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or arthritis. Again, certain conditions can affect the anesthetic.

Following the extraction, you can probably expect some swelling, and there may also be some bruising in your gums. You will probably bleed a bit for a few hours, but this is usually easily controlled by biting down on the gauze pads that your dentist will provide. Some patients experience pain, while others seem to get by quite nicely. Make sure, if you are in pain, that you take only the type of pain killers recommended or prescribed by the dentist. Also, try to keep your tongue out of the hole – I know, that’s far easier said than done, but try. Avoid hot or spicy foods, and don’t drink anything through a straw. If you smoke, wait as long as humanly possible before lighting up. Don’t gargle or rinse vigorously. Don’t spit, and try to avoid lifting heavy objects. If you find that the swelling is bothering you, you can use a cold compress for about 20 minutes, but no sooner than three hours after the extraction. If antibiotics have been prescribed, make sure that you take all of them.

Most of the time, tooth extractions go off without a hitch. But if you find that you have pain that can’t be alleviated using the painkillers that your dentist has recommended, if the swelling gets worse after three days instead of getting better, if bleeding can’t be controlled, or if you develop a fever, call Old Milton Dental in Alpharetta immediately at 678-624-0370, or visit the emergency room.