A tooth extraction is the removal of one of your teeth. There are many reasons why your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Your tooth might be too damaged to repair, or your mouth might simply be too overcrowded with too many teeth.
In this post, we’ll go over what you can expect from a tooth extraction.
A dental extraction will always be carried out by a trained dentist or dental surgeon. Your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure and the numbness may take a little while to wear off afterwards. Depending on the site of the tooth that was removed, you may receive a small square of gauze tucked into the space where your tooth was. This helps the blood start to clot where a tooth is removed. You will be advised to leave the gauze in place for 30 to 45 minutes after the procedure.
A tooth extraction usually requires a few days of recovery and sometimes a few weeks to properly heal before work can start on replacements for cosmetic reasons.
The first 24 hours
You should treat the area around where the tooth was removed with care for 24 hours after extraction and avoid rinsing your mouth or vigorously brushing the site of the extraction. It is also recommended that you avoid smoking or using straws for a while because they could disrupt the newly formed blood clot protecting the site.
The next few days
Once 24 hours have passed, you can restart your usual oral care routine but take care to still avoid the extraction site for a few more days. If you notice anything getting worse over time and not better i.e. swelling, nausea, pain or bleeding, make sure you speak to your dentist.
Replacing the missing tooth
Once the extraction site is healed, you can get a replacement tooth.
There are several options to discuss with your dentist:
- Dentures. These can be full or partial. They are suggested when several teeth have been removed. Dentures can also now be removable or permanent.
- Dental implants. This is when a metal post is attached to the newly formed bone and the site is given a singular crown to help fill in the gap. This works best if the extraction was of just a single tooth.
- Dental bridges. These are used when one or two teeth are essentially anchored to the healthy teeth beside the site. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve had more than one tooth removed.
Hearing that you need to have a tooth extracted may seem stressful and daunting but be confident that your dentist would not suggest the procedure unless it was absolutely necessary. It might change your smile for a few weeks, and be slightly uncomfortable for a day or two, but with consistent aftercare, you’ll be able to choose a replacement option that makes you feel confident about your new smile.