Sometimes a tooth simply needs to come out. Teeth might stubbornly refuse to erupt on their own, causing impaction, or a tooth might be damaged from disease or injury. Your cosmetic dentist can perform a tooth extraction right in the office and will give you instructions for aftercare at home.
Recovery from a tooth extraction takes only a few days, and should not affect your activity much, but you can help speed the healing process and be more comfortable by following your dentist's aftercare advice, which is specific to the type of extraction you have. You probably can expect the following:
- You'll leave the office with a gauze pad over the tooth socket. If the area still is bleeding after about 30 or 45 minutes, replace the gauze with a clean, damp one.
- Follow the diet your dentist suggests, which will probably be primarily soft foods at first.
- Relax right after your tooth extraction. Physical exertion might increase bleeding.
- Discomfort from tooth extraction usually is mild, but take the dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen that your dentist recommends if you have any pain.
- Don't smoke or use a straw until the area heals.
- Resume regular brushing and flossing, but avoid the area on either side of the open tooth socket for a few days.
- Rinse your mouth gently and avoid using mouthwash for a few days.
- Avoid running your tongue over the socket area.
- If you have any swelling, place ice packs wrapped in towels on your face on the side of the extraction for about 20 minutes at a time.
- If you experience nausea, vomiting, or continued bleeding, contact your dentist immediately.
Finally, unless your tooth was removed because of overcrowding, your dentist might recommend replacing the missing tooth to keep the teeth on either side from shifting. Your dentist can provide a bridge, denture, or dental implant at a follow-up appointment.
The dentists and staff at Redondo Beach Dental Group can take care of your tooth extractions and follow-up instructions to keep you comfortable and to keep your smile healthy and bright. Call us today at (310) 542-6988 to schedule your appointment.