While we do our best to avoid extractions, sometimes they are necessary. The most common type of extraction is wisdom teeth extraction. Wisdom teeth often require extraction because they can become impacted, causing pain or the tooth to come in partially which can lead to infection. However, wisdom teeth do not always need to be removed. For some people, the wisdom teeth will emerge with no problems, and without disturbing the rest of the teeth. Sometimes only one wisdom tooth needs to be removed, and sometimes all of them need to be removed.
The procedure can be performed under local anesthetic or general anesthetic, where the patient is completely sedated for the procedure. During the procedure, the gum tissue is opened to reveal the impacted tooth and is then extracted. When a tooth is too impacted to simply pull out, it may need to be broken into pieces and extracted that way. Depending on the extraction, sutures may be needed to close the area.
After the procedure you will need to rest, but do not lie flat. You will need to be driven home by a friend or family member. Gauze will be placed on the extraction site, as bleeding is normal during the first few hours. Once the gauze becomes soaked, you will need to replace it. If bleeding persists after 24 hours, contact our office. Your doctor will prescribe you pain medication you can take as directed should you become sore. You may also use an ice pack for the pain and to prevent swelling. Your dentist will provide you with a cleaning solution you need to use to clean the extraction site.
For the first few days after the extraction, you will need to stick to a soft food diet consisting of only foods that do not require chewing (thin soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, pudding, etc.). Do not use a straw when drinking, and do not smoke. The sucking motion could open the sutures and slow the clotting process.
If you have excess pain, bleeding or feel your healing process is not quite right, contact us promptly.