A tooth extraction procedure involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. It is usually performed when a tooth is damaged by decay or was broken during an impact-related accident (there is too much damage for the tooth to be repaired). Many patients may have the impression that such a procedure is often painful. However, that isn’t always the case.
At Arcadia Dental, our Franklin dentists are able to perform a wide array of dental surgical procedures, including pain-free tooth extractions. If you have been scheduled for a tooth extraction procedure in the coming weeks or months, it will be beneficial to know some aftercare tips to help you avoid potential complications during your recovery.
Do not smoke
After your tooth extraction, the first 24 hours of your recovery are the most critical. In fact, dental experts around the world recommend that you do not smoke for at least 24 to 72 hours. If you manage to leave off the cigarettes during this time, it will be easier for you to get past potential clotting problems.
Smoking compromises the healing process as it impairs blood flow. Also, it can increase your chances of getting a dry socket which is extremely painful. So it is best not to smoke at all in the days following an extraction. If you smoke after a tooth extraction, the smoke can comes into direct contact with your body because there is no protection from skin in the affected area. This increases your risk of getting oral cancer.
Ensuring an adequate blood clot forms in your tooth’s empty socket
This is an important part of the healing process, and you do not want to disrupt or dislodge a blood clot that is forming. It is pertinent to keep in mind that anything occuring during the first 24-hour time frame will affect the healing process for the next few days. For starters, you can learn how to protect the clot that will form after the extraction:
• Avoid drinking or eating hot liquids and foods
• Avoid disturbing the extraction site with your tongue or finger
• Avoid spitting or vigorous rinsing
• Minimize air pressure differences (suction) in mouth by not using a straw or smoking
Minimizing postoperative swelling
This is a normal occurrence so do not be alarmed when you notice swelling. To begin minimizing the total amount of swelling that forms, you can consider applying cold packs to the outside of your face. Make sure the packs are placed in the region of your extraction site as well. You do not need to wait until you get home to do this as you can get started on this process after the completion of your extraction.
However, the best advice you can receive on this matter is from your dentist. If you are curious on how cold therapy works, the “cold environment” created by an ice pack causes the blood vessels in the extraction area to constrict. This reduces the total volume of fluids being transported in and around the surrounding tissues. Less activity means lesser amounts of swelling formed.
Remember to stay hydrated
This is something many patients seem to forget, which is to stay well hydrated. During your tooth extraction procedure, you have already lost some bodily fluids. Hence, it is pertinent to maintain optimal body chemistry to aid your tooth socket’s healing process. Whether you have removed multiple teeth, undergone a more complex tooth extraction procedure or a minor one, be sure to drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Note it down!
If you wish to know more about the oral surgical procedures we can perform, do not hesitate to contact a Franklin dentist from Arcadia Dental today for more information.