Tooth extraction may become necessary due to damage or decay. The procedure involves removing a tooth entirely from its socket. To remove teeth, dentists use an elevator to loosen them and forceps to remove them entirely. In some cases, dentists may create incisions in the gums for better access. Following the removal, professionals clean and…
Recovering From a Tooth Extraction: What to Expect
If you have scheduled a tooth extraction with your dentist, you probably have some questions. You will want to know more about the procedure such as how long it will take and whether you will feel any pain. You should also understand how the recovery process will work. Extractions can be invasive and involved, so you can expect to feel the effects afterward. Make sure you follow the dentist’s guidelines.
Why people may need a tooth extraction
Teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but there may be occasions when a dentist will have to remove one. Some teeth need to come out to make room for others coming in. Other teeth are impacted but will come in at odd angles, so the dentist must take them out. Another reason to extract teeth is when they are severely decayed or infected. Badly damaged teeth such as those suffering fractures or cracks might need to be removed as well.
Recovery: the length
Recovering from a tooth extraction will vary due to the type of procedure. Taking out an impacted tooth will require a longer recovery than extracting a tooth that is already in place. The reason for this is that the dentist will cut away gum and bone to get to the tooth. For these procedures, the patient may face a one- or two-week recovery. Extracting a fully grown-in tooth will only need a 24- to 48-hour recovery or less in most cases.
Treating the pain
For a tooth extraction, there will be some soreness and discomfort at the surgical site. The dentist may prescribe pain medication to help the patient feel more at ease. The patient can also take over-the-counter drugs. A regimen of Ibuprofen and Tylenol for a few days can dull the pain.
Swelling is also common following a tooth extraction. A recovering patient should keep an ice pack on the affected area to help the swelling go down. The individual should keep the ice on their face for 20 minutes at a time several times a day. This may need to continue for up to a week, depending on whether the dentist had to cut into the gum.
After a tooth extraction, the patient should avoid strenuous work for 24 hours. This may need to be up to a week for impacted teeth. Instead, the individual should rest comfortably with the head elevated. Patients should plan on taking time off work after a procedure.
What to eat and not to eat
It will hurt to chew after having a tooth extraction. Patients should avoid hard or chewy foods. Extremely hot and cold food and beverages can irritate the surgical area too. A recovering patient should eat soft food such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, and bananas.
Get back into your normal routine
A tooth extraction can be a major surgery. It can also leave you feeling sore and in pain. To ease these feelings, you should follow these tips so that your mouth can heal. Your dentist will give you other advice on how to cope with the discomfort and resume your regular activities as soon as possible.
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