Extraction – non surgical
If a surgical extraction, please ask dentist if stitches are dis-solvable or if you need to return for stitch removal
Cost is based on a normal extraction. If gum planing is required, the price will adjust.
Please see information on bone loss and bone grafting
Healing after extractions and oral surgery
after tooth removal, you will want to do all the right things for the area to heal quickly and smoothly. This requires that a blood clot is formed. The blood clot covers the extraction site and allows the area to heal. A lot of the tips below help the blood clot to form properly and not become dislodged. A dislodged clot is often referred to as dry socket
A dry socket occurs when the blood clot for healing becomes dislodged or doesn’t form. In that case, the bone and fine nerve endings are not protected and exposed to air, food, and liquids. Dry socket delays the healing process and can be very painful.
If you suspect dry socket, a medicated dressing in the socket which will almost instantly relieve pain. If the area is infected, the dentist may also prescribe a course of antibiotics.
If you follow the “do’s” and “don’ts”, you’ll minimize your chances of getting dry socket.
It is normal for the area to be tender for the first few days, and in most cases simple over-the-counter pain relief is enough to ease any discomfort. Start taking painkillers immediately afterwards – don’t wait until pain sets in! It’s far easier to prevent pain than to make it go away.
Rest! Go home, take it easy for the rest of the day, and don’t exercise for at least 12 to 24 hours. If you want to lie down, and for the first night following surgery, keep your head up with pillows if possible. Do not bend over or do heavy lifting for 2-3 days.
The dentist should let you know how to control any bleeding. Usually, a gauze pad will be placed on the area, and you should try and keep firm pressure on it. You should change this dressing about every 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the amount of bleeding.
Warning: some people get concerned by the amount of blood. Relax – a small amount of blood is mixed with a larger amount of saliva, which can make it look a lot more dramatic than it is! Many dentists will give you a package of gauze to take home with you, but you may want to buy some gauze beforehand. If you need to use it, fold the clean gauze into a pad, thick enough to bite on, then moisten it and place it directly on the extraction site. Hold the gauze firmly in place, by biting down on the pad or using finger pressure, for about half an hour to an hour. If this doesn’t stop the bleeding, moisten a tea bag with water and fold it in half and bite down on it for 30 minutes (the tannic acid in black tea helps stop bleeding). Some slight bleeding for the first day or so is normal. But if you still bleed more heavily after an hour or two, contact the dentist.
While you shouldn’t rinse for the first 24 hours, after this initial period you should gently rinse 4 times a day using warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Do not spit out forcefully! Rinse after every meal and snack, making sure that the water removes any bits of food around the area where the tooth is missing.
The dentist may also advise you to use a antibiotic mouth rinse, this kills bacteria. If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, follow the instructions and make sure you finish the course.
Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for the first day or two. Examples include soups, yogurts, fruit, milkshakes, smoothies, mashed potatoes, etc. A vitamin c supplement may also be helpful. Avoid spicy foods, hot drinks and sodas for 3-4 days, to prevent irritation and burns.
Wisdom teeth: swelling and sometimes bruising can occur after surgery, esp. With so-called “wisdom teeth”. The worst swelling, pain and jaw stiffness normally occurs 2 or 3 days after surgery. On the day of the surgery, apply ice packs for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off until bedtime. This will keep swelling to a minimum. Also keep your head elevated until bedtime. Moist heat after 36 hours may help jaw soreness. After a wisdom tooth removal, try to gently keep stretching your mouth open to get it moving again. It can be tempting just to not open it wide at all, but that can lead to permanent limitated opening.
Don’t be tempted to rinse the area for 24 hours after tooth removal.
Avoid hot food or drinks until the numbing wears off. You cannot feel pain while you’re numb and may burn your mouth. Also take care not to accidentally chew your cheek!
Don’t poke at the extraction site! – keep your fingers and tongue away from this area.
Avoid sucking (e.g. through straws), spitting, and blowing your nose (unless you have to). This is because positive or negative pressure could dislodge the blood clot. If you have a cold or allergies or anything that will want you blow your nose or sneeze, take appropriate medications to treat these.
Try not to smoke for as long as possible afterwards, but at the very least for the rest of the day. Smoking can interfere with the healing process, and also the sucking motion could dislodge the blood clot.
Avoid alcohol for 24 hours, as it could delay the healing process.
The healing process:
it usually takes gum tissue about 3-4 weeks to heal. The bone can take up to 6 months to heal completely. However, pain should be lessening by the second day. You may feel the sharp edge of the socket with your tongue and sometimes, little bits of bone may make their way to the surface and work their way out. This is perfectly normal and harmless. If a small bit of bone is annoying you and you don’t want to wait until it comes out by itself, you can ask the dentist to remove it for you.
Still in pain?
Pain that lasts for up to a week or so but is gradually getting better is normal. You could ask the dentist for stronger painkillers.
Pain that starts to get worse after two days is considered abnormal and you may want to see the dentist. This could be a sign of “dry socket”.