It’s never a fun and happy event to get a tooth pulled. But, pain management has greatly advanced alongside dental technique. When a patient comes into the office presenting a tooth that can’t be saved with general dentistry, often the extraction can be performed that day, provided that a large infection isn’t present. If a high volume of infection is present, the patient may need to take antibiotics for a week prior to the extraction. Local anesthesia is also most effective with healthier tissue.
Caring for an extraction after the procedure
One of the most important things a patient can do after an extraction is to wait for the local anesthesia to wear off before attempting to eat. Someone who has gotten an extraction is far more likely to naturally gravitate toward softer foods. After an extraction, avoid standing up quickly, smoking or drinking alcohol, using drinking straws, carbonated beverages or spicy foods. Your dentist will provide additional advice on what not to do depending on the type of extraction.
You should get plenty of rest after your extraction and ensure that you bite on gauze for the prescribed amount of time to staunch any bleeding. Eat soft foods and keep dentures in for the first 24 hours after an extraction to reduce swelling. You can also place a cold compress on the face at the extraction site to help control swelling and pain.
Rinse your mouth as needed for pain and cleanliness beginning 24 hours after the extraction, not before. Use very warm water and regular salt from your kitchen. You can do this as often as you like. Take all medication as prescribed and if you experience extreme bleeding, pain or swelling, this should be reported immediately.
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