A tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves the removal of an entire tooth, including the roots. Generally, there are two kinds of tooth extractions — simple and surgical. During a simple extraction, the entire tooth is visible and somewhat easily removed. A local anesthetic is used to ensure the process is painless.

During more complex, surgical extractions, more effort is required to remove the tooth. This is common for wisdom teeth or other teeth that lay below the gum line. Surgical extractions are also necessary when a portion of a tooth has broken off, leaving portions of the tooth behind. Dental sedation is typically used during surgical extractions.

To schedule a consultation at Aberdeen Smiles, call 605-277-9049

What to Do After A Tooth Extraction

The most important thing to do after a tooth extraction is to follow the instructions of your dentist. You want to make sure the area heals properly and as quickly as possible without any complications.

After each tooth extraction at our Aberdeen, SD office, we provide thorough post-extraction instructions. Following these instructions reduces your chances of developing an infection, dry socket, or other complications. Below are some of the things you should do after a tooth extraction to make the most of your recovery time.

  • Rest – Try to get as much rest as you can after an extraction. Even if you feel great, you should avoid exercising or taking part in too much activity for the first 24 hours after your extraction. When lying down, keep your head in a slightly upright position for optimal healing.
  • Let it clot – A clot needs to form at the site of your tooth extraction because it covers the area and allows it to heal. After your extraction, we will send you home with a piece of gauze covering the extraction site. To make sure a clot forms, try to bite down on the gauze and keep it in place for at least an hour after the procedure. Then, change the gauze every 30 minutes. As a clot forms, the site should bleed less.
  • Ice packs – Use ice packs liberally after a tooth extraction to reduce swelling. Ice packs can also help with any discomfort you may experience during the recovery process. Because swelling can occur for several days after the procedure, keep ice packs handy to use in 15-minute increments for 1-2 hours at a time.

What Not to Do After A Tooth Extraction

To allow the extraction site to heal as quickly as possible and to prevent potential complications, avoid the following:

  • Smoking for at least 48 hours
  • Eating solid foods immediately after the extraction
  • Cleaning the area with a toothbrush (Rinse with warm saline instead)
  • Skipping medications or taking them differently than prescribed
  • Taking aspirin, as it is a blood thinner that can prevent healing
  • Sucking or sipping
  • Touching the extraction site

For more information on tooth extractions and how to make the most of your recovery period, contact our staff at Aberdeen Smiles. Call us today at 605-277-9049 or contact us online to request a consultation. We are more than happy to help.