What You Need to Know About Tooth Extraction: Procedure, Post Extraction, and Recovery

dentist extracting a tooth

Your oral health is extremely important, and when it comes to oral hygiene, even the smallest of details matter. This is especially true when it comes to extracting a tooth. It can be the difference between a quick recovery and a longer, more painful one.

What happens after the tooth extraction is just as important to know as what happens during the procedure. That’s why we’re here to make sure you understand each step of the process.

What is a Tooth Extraction?

Extracting a tooth, also known as dental extraction, is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. And it’s usually recommended in the following cases:

  • If a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, and can’t be repaired with a filling.
  • If the tooth is impacted, meaning that it has not yet grown out of the gum line.
  • If you have too many teeth (overcrowding).
  • If there are complications with orthodontic treatment.

What Happens During a Tooth Extraction?

Before our Lee’s Summit dentist begins the procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic or general anesthesia. This is to reduce discomfort and ensure that the entire extraction process is as painless as possible.

During the procedure, the doctor will loosen your tooth with special dental instruments before removing it completely. Depending on how firmly rooted your tooth is, the dentist may need to break it into pieces before completely extracting a tooth.

Finally, once the tooth is removed, your dentist may suture the area if necessary and place a gauze pad over the extraction site to control bleeding.

Aftercare: What Happens After Extracting a Tooth?

The steps you need to take after will decide how quickly you recover from the procedure:

1. During the first 24 hours

  • Leave the gauze in place for up to 4 hours to help manage bleeding.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the side of your face to help reduce swelling and provide pain relief.

2. After the first 24 hours

  • Refrain from drinking through a straw, spitting, or any other activity that may cause new bleeding.
  • Avoid brushing the extraction site for at least a day.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relief medications as recommended by your doctor.
  • Eat foods that are soft and gentle on your gums, such as yogurt or applesauce.
  • Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce inflammation and rinse away any loose debris. It is important to remember not to rinse for the first 24 hours as this allows your mouth to start healing. 
  • Get plenty of rest. When resting, prop your head up on some pillows to help minimize bleeding.

Following these steps will ensure that you have a successful recovery after the extraction of a tooth.

Schedule a Procedure With Stehl Family Dental

Our Lee’s Summit dentists at Stehl Family Dental will make sure that your extractions are as easy and painless as possible. Between the local anesthetic, general anesthesia, and aftercare instructions, you can be sure that your procedure will be a success.

To get started, contact Stehl Family Dental today and make an appointment for your tooth extraction. Our dental team is looking forward to helping you achieve a healthy smile!