What to Expect After Tooth Extraction

Preparing to have a tooth extracted can provoke feelings of nervousness and uncertainty. If you don’t know what to expect, or worse, you have heard frightening stories from friends, your level of anxiety can reach tremendous heights.

Modern dentistry provides your oral surgeon with the tools and expertise to extract teeth smoothly and virtually painlessly. But, what happens when you leave the dental office? Your oral surgeon and the entire dental team will provide specific instructions regarding the recovery period, according to your particular procedure.

Generally speaking, local anesthesia is used to numb the gum tissue and bone surrounding the extraction site. At the conclusion of the procedure your lips, tongue, and cheeks may continue to feel numb for a short period of time. During this time, you will be asked to apply firm pressure to the extraction site by biting on a piece of cotton gauze. This is important for controlling bleeding and promoting a blood clot. Clotting is the body’s way of stopping bleeding and the beginning of the healing process.

For several days following the extraction, you should take extra precautions to protect the extraction site. Any activities that would disturb the blood clot should be avoided or postponed. This includes drinking through a straw, smoking, vigorous exercise, and drinking alcohol.

During the first 48 hours, it is common to experience some degree of pain and/or swelling. Pain medications and an ice pack are helpful for minimizing the discomfort. For your comfort and safety, only use the prescribed medications according to your oral surgeon’s recommendations. Also, maintaining a healthy diet of soft foods and liquids will provide your body with the fuel necessary for speedy healing.

Dentistry is not an exact science, and each extraction is unique. Therefore, the hours and days following the procedure may vary widely for each patient. Your oral surgeon will discuss the results of your particular procedure with you and provide more details as to what you should expect once you leave the office.

Contact the office of Dr. Carlos Rafael Ibañez, serving Charlottesville VA, to learn more and to schedule your consultation.

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