There are many reasons to extract teeth. Some teeth are extracted due to mobility from advanced periodontal disease, severe decay making restoration impossible, or fractures that are too deep to be completely removed. Extractions are indicated for children when the baby teeth are abscessed and are sometimes part of the orthodontic treatment plan when there is limited space in the mouth. It is important to review all treatment options before extracting a tooth due to complications that can arise afterward. When teeth are missing, the following can occur…

  • it can be hard to chew
  • the resulting space can form a food trap causing the adjacent teeth to be susceptible to decay
  • the adjacent teeth can tip in to the space. This is the body’s natural attempt to close the space.

To avoid these complications, the doctors here at Molina Dentistry will discuss all options for restoration of the edentulous space. Such methods include implants, bridges, or removable partial dentures.

Post-operative Instructions

After an extraction, light bleeding should be expected for the first 24-48 hours. We will give you sterilized gauze to take home so that if bleeding occurs, you may place the gauze over the socket and bite down for 30-40 minutes to help the area clot. Maintaining the clot in the socket is essential to healing. If the clot is dislodged the underlying nerve will be exposed to the oral cavity and form a dry socket. This can be very painful. To avoid this situation, we suggest refraining from the following activities for 24-48 hours after the procedure;

  • smoking
  • using a straw
  • spitting
  • rinsing
  • swishing of any kind

You may brush your teeth normally but do not brush the extraction site. A cold compress may be helpful to prevent swelling along with taking 800mg of Ibuprofen every 6 hours for adults. The Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and will reduce swelling while relieving discomfort. Tylenol (1000mg) may be taken in conjunction with Ibuprofen if pain persists. Minimizing strenuous activity can decrease the chance of bleeding. You may eat whatever is tolerable, but cold soft food may be the kindest to the extraction site. Please call the office if you have questions or are experiencing heavy bleeding or severe pain after an extraction.