Many of our patients at Westwood Dental Group in Westwood are terrified of dental extractions. This might be due to things they’ve heard about extractions or prior bad experiences. We want you to know that we intend to take good care of you.
Rest assured that we’ll only suggest extraction if we think it’s necessary. Teeth that are badly damaged, infected, or impacted usually need to come out. Leaving them in can lead to damage to surrounding teeth and potentially the entire body. We’re here to tell you what extractions are like and what you should expect the first few hours and days after an extraction.
Before an extraction, we’ll ask you for a dental x-ray to assess the state of your teeth. This helps us identify how deep a tooth goes and anticipate how difficult it will be to extract it. You’ll then come in for the extraction. We’ll numb your mouth using local anesthesia, so you don’t feel any pain while we work.
Most teeth can easily be extracted by pulling on them. There are more complicated cases that require surgical extraction. The most severe cases will need to be done in an operating room under general anesthesia. This isn’t common, though.
Bleeding, swelling, and pain are expected after a dental extraction. We’ll give you some medications for the pain. Swelling can be controlled using ice. It’s important, however, to stop the bleeding within a few hours and allow the formation of a blood clot.
We’ll place a piece of cotton over the extraction site and have you firmly bite on it. You should avoid using a straw, rinsing, or perform anything that requires suction with your mouth as this will dislodge the clot and cause bleeding again. Smoking should be avoided as much as possible.
During the first day, it’s best that you only consume cold liquids. Hot food and drinks will worsen the swelling and bleeding. If you have nonstop bleeding or suspect an infection developed, give us a call or come visit one of our offices.