What Happens After a Tooth Extraction?

If you need to get a tooth pulled, you may be scared about the process. You know that you will have pain medications during the procedure, but may worry about what happens after the tooth extraction. Will it be painful afterward? Learning what to expect can help you prepare for an extraction.

Why Extract Teeth

Tooth extraction is a last resort option. When possible, dentists want to preserve your natural teeth. However, if your tooth is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, your dentist will recommend extraction. You may also need an extraction if you have an infected tooth and there is a possibility of the infection spreading.

Pain Management During Extraction

Pulling a tooth can be painful. Your dentist can manage the pain through local anesthetics. However, it can be difficult for some people to handle the procedure. Dentists may also use general anesthesia to keep the patient out during the extraction. Talk to your dentist about your wishes for pain management. They should work with you to keep you comfortable.

After the Extraction

Immediately after the extraction, you will probably feel fine. The anesthesia may last for several hours after the extraction. It is important to take any recommended pain medicine during that time period, so it is working when the anesthesia wears off. You may continue to bleed until the site develops a blood clot. Your dentist may instruct you to bite on gauze to stop the bleeding.

Your dentist will give you a special diet. Usually, the first day or two, you are instructed to only eat cool or cold liquids and soft foods. After that, you should maintain a soft or liquid diet for about a week.

You can brush and floss your teeth. However, avoid brushing and flossing near the site where the tooth was removed. Rinse with saltwater to keep the area clean.

Recovery Time

It can take two weeks to recover after you get a tooth extracted. It is very important to follow your dentist’s rules during that period. It is equally important to notify your dentist if you are experiencing any complications.

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