Tooth Extractions: Out With the Old

The best teeth you can have are your own, but if a tooth is so badly damaged or decayed that it’s beyond repair, we may recommend extraction. Prior to the procedure, we’ll discuss your options for filling the space once the tooth is removed, whether it’s an implant, denture or a bridge.

Who Needs a Tooth Extraction?

People with poor oral health are the most common extraction patients, but they’re not the only ones:

  • If your tooth is damaged badly enough in an accident or on the sports field, it may need to be removed.
  • If your tooth is positioned poorly in your mouth and is causing damage to other teeth, it may require removal.
  • If you’re preparing for orthodontic work, we may need to make space in your mouth.

Post-extraction care

After the tooth is removed the area will need time to heal. We’ll prescribe you painkillers for the discomfort, but you can help speed the process along. Here are some tips:

  • Rinse your mouth several times a day (after the first day) with warm salt water to reduce swelling and keep bacteria at bay. One teaspoon of salt in an 8-oz glass is all you need.
  • We’ll send you home with gauze which you should bite on if bleeding occurs.
  • Sleep with your head propped up. Lying flat can prolong bleeding.
  • Stay off your feet for a day or two if that has been recommended. Physical activity can increase blood flow away from the mouth.
  • Continue brushing and flossing, but be very careful around the extraction area.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat soft foods.

Depending on the procedure, stitches may be necessary. Some stitches dissolve on their own, while others must be removed during a subsequent visit. We’ll let you know which kind you have after the procedure.