What is tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction (also known as exodontia) is defined as the planned removal of a tooth from its dental socket in the jaw bone. Tooth extraction is usually done by using dental instruments such as dental forceps and dental elevators. Tooth extraction is done under local anaesthesia, thus, the process of extracting a tooth is painless under proper local anaesthesia.
What Are The Indications Of Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction may be indicated for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons for tooth extraction are being listed below:
- Unrestorable Tooth Decay (Dental Caries)
- Periodontal Disease
- Periapical Infection
- Irreversible Pulpitis
- Failure Of Root Canal Treatment
- Dental Erosion
- Dental Abscess
- Tooth Fracture
- Dental Attrition
- Impacted Teeth (such as impacted wisdom tooth)
- Teeth Involved With Tumours & Cyst
- Teeth Located In The Direct Field Of Radiotherapy
- Tooth Extraction As Part Of Orthodontic Treatment
- Teeth In The Line Of Jaw Fracture
What Are The Instructions To Be Followed After A Tooth Extraction?
After a tooth extraction, post-operative instructions will be given to the patients by the dentist. It is important for the patient to follow all the post-operative instructions given for proper healing of the extraction wound. Besides that, the complications of tooth extraction are less likely to happen if all the post-operative instructions are being followed by the patient.
The important post-operative instructions to be followed after a tooth extraction are listed below:
- Firmly bite of the cotton roll/gauze piece for at least 30 minutes. (This is to reduce the bleeding from the socket and allow a blood clot to form)
- Minimize talking for the first 3-4 hours.
- Do not smoke for the first 48 hours.
- Avoid alcohol for the first 24 hours.
- Avoid vigorous exercise.
- Get enough rest for the first 24 hours.
- Do not rinse or spit forcibly for the first 24 hours.
- Take the first dose of painkiller before the effect of local anaesthesia subsides.
- Take painkiller as instructed by the dentists.
- Do not take solid food immediately after tooth extraction.
- Avoid spicy & hot food for the first 24 hours.
- Take cool and soft diet (such as soup, mashed potato and yogurt) for the first 24 hours. Slowly take solid foods once the tooth extraction site heals.
- Do not use straws to suck while drinking water/fluids.
- Do not spit saliva or blood. (Patient should swallow any saliva or blood present in the mouth instead.)
- Avoid brushing or flossing the teeth near the tooth extraction site for the first 24 hours.
- Do not poke the tooth extraction site. This could disturb/delay the healing process of the socket.
How To Take Care Of The Oral Hygiene After Tooth Extraction?
Most of the people stop performing dental care routine (such as toothbrushing, dental flossing and mouth rinsing) for the first few days after a tooth extraction in order to avoid pain. In fact, oral hygiene plays a very important role in the healing of the extraction socket. A good oral hygiene could result in a more rapid healing.
Thus, it is important for the patient to adhere to the proper dental care routine even after a tooth extraction so that the extraction wound could heal rapidly. However, there is a slight modification in dental care routine after a tooth extraction. The modifications of oral hygiene routine are mentioned below:
- On the day of tooth extraction, brush the teeth that are away from the tooth extraction site as usual.
- Avoid brushing or flossing the teeth immediately adjacent to the tooth extraction site for the first 24 hours.
- In the next day after tooth extraction, gentle mouth rinsing with warm water could be done for a good oral hygiene.
- If the oral hygiene is compromised, your dentist might prescribe some mouthwashes to improve your oral hygiene.
Pain after tooth extraction that lasts for a few days or up to a week but is gradually getting better is considered as normal. However, if the pain starts to get worse after 2-3 days, this is considered as abnormal and you should contact your dentist to check if there is any complication of tooth extraction that is happening.
Article written by,
Dr. Wong Kee Cheong (Tommy)
BDS (AIMST), MBA (SEGi), YCDP