Teeth Extraction Procedure

When restoration procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be pulled, or extracted.

Tooth extraction procedures today are far less painful than ever before, thanks to powerful anesthetics and sedatives. In many cases, a patient who has tooth pulled experiences little or no discomfort, and only minor bleeding.

Before a tooth is extracted, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed with a topical/and or injectable anesthetic such as Novocaine.

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Patients with extracted teeth sometimes need to take an antibiotic, and at the very least, take precautions following the procedure to ensure that infection doesn’t occur.

Smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged during the post-operative period because they hinder healing and may cause the wound to open. Cold compresses applied to the outside cheek near the extraction area can help reduce any swelling and promote faster healing.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt in the back corners of the upper and lower normal adult mouth. Unfortunately, most people experience problems from wisdom teeth; in most cases, this is because the teeth erupt too close to existing permanent teeth, causing crowding, improper bites, and other problems

If wisdom teeth are causing a problem, this could mean that they are impacted.  Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely painful, as well as harmful to your oral health. Symptoms are easy to spot: severe discomfort, inflammation, and some kinds of infections.

Many people need to have their wisdom teeth extracted to avoid future serious problems. In general, the lack of the four wisdom teeth does not hamper one’s ability to properly bite down, speak or eat.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have an impacted wisdom tooth:

  • Facial swelling
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Gum swelling

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

No doubt you know someone who has had their wisdom teeth extracted. Perhaps Dr. Archibald or another dentist has recommended that you have your wisdom teeth removed. But do you know why? The answer may be obvious if you are already experiencing pain from your wisdom teeth. Pain, however, is typically an indication of a later stage problems. When it comes to your oral health it is not a good idea to wait until something hurts before seeking treatment since it frequently means more extensive (and expensive) treatment may be required.

The belief that all wisdom teeth must be extracted is incorrect. For some people, their jaws have sufficient room for the wisdom teeth to erupt and be adequately maintained. These people do not need their wisdom teeth removed. However many people lack sufficient room for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt and they remain impacted or trapped by gum tissue, bone and the molars in front of them. When this happens the wisdom teeth and surrounding molars become especially vulnerable to infection, cysts, gum disease and decay.

What Happens On The Day Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?

Gauze pads will be placed over the surgical areas at the end of your wisdom teeth surgery. You will be instructed to close down on the pads in order to keep pressure applied to the sites. You should keep your mouth closed and remain biting on the gauze for 1 hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided as this may initiate bleeding.

You should take the first doses of prescribed medications as soon as you remove the gauze or 1 hour after leaving the office. The effects of the local anesthetic will continue to diminish over the 1-3 hours following your surgery so be very careful not to bite your lips or tongue. Once the local anesthetic has worn off, eating should be limited to soft items that easily dissolve in water. Restrict your physical activities as elevating your heart rate and blood pressure will likely result in increased bleeding at the site of your surgery. Place ice packs on the side(s) of your face where surgery was performed, alternating 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to allow the skin to warm up and prevent frostbite. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.

Many patients elect to have their wisdom teeth removed while they are sedated. If this is the case for you, please be sure to read our additional instructions pertaining to your sedation.

Which wisdom teeth should be removed?

The belief that all wisdom teeth must be extracted is incorrect. For some people, their jaws have sufficient room for the wisdom teeth to erupt and be adequately maintained. These people do not need their wisdom teeth removed. However many people lack sufficient room for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt and they remain impacted or trapped by gum tissue, bone and the molars in front of them. When this happens the wisdom teeth and surrounding molars become especially vulnerable to infection, cysts, gum disease and decay. During your exam appointment, Dr. Archibald uses the latest in digital X-ray technology to evaluate your wisdom teeth and determine whether or not they should be removed.

Can wisdom teeth fall out on their own?

Unlike primary teeth or baby teeth, as they are often known, permanent teeth do not fall out on their own. This includes wisdom teeth, which are the third and final set of permanent molars in to develop in the adolescent patient. Diseases, especially gum disease, can cause the surrounding bone and gums to become infected and deteriorate. Unfortunately, when this happens, even permanent teeth can become loose. If this disease process is not halted and the causes addressed in time it will result in teeth needing to be extracted.

How is the recovery from tooth extraction?

Your case is individual, no two mouths are alike. Do not accept well-intended advice from friends. Dr. Archibald will give you a good idea of what to expect in the days following your specific surgery. The 2nd and 3rd days following your surgery are typically when patients experience the most post-operative discomfort. This is primarily from swelling in the surgical sites. The better you can control the swelling, especially early on in the healing process, the less discomfort you will experience. Most patients are feeling much better able to resume light activity on the 3rd day following their surgery. Dr. Archibald will want to see you back in a week to follow up and remove any sutures remaining.

How much bleeding should I expect after wisdom tooth surgery?

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding or oozing will be dark red in color and is normal. Excessive bleeding will be bright red in color and may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 30-60 minutes. Repeat if necessary. In order to stop bleeding, the pressure from the gauze must be placed directly over the surgical area. Chewing on the gauze only stimulates saliva flow, increases the risk of more bleeding, and risks injury to the numb oral structures. If bleeding continues, gently wipe away any formed clot over the surgical site and bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, please call the office for further instructions.

How much swelling should I expect after wisdom tooth surgery?

Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face is not uncommon. Swelling and mild bruising is normally expected and is usually proportional to the surgery involved. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. Many times the swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. A bag filled with ice or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be placed on the side(s) of your face where surgery was performed, alternating 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to allow the skin to warm up and prevent frostbite. After the first 24-to-36 hours, ice has little beneficial effect to reduce swelling. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm, as this is a normal reaction to surgery.

How much pain should I expect after wisdom tooth surgery?

As with bleeding and swelling, some pain following your wisdom teeth surgery is to be expected. Research has shown that alternating non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) with Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is the best method for relief of mild-moderate postoperative pain. Dr. Archibald will review your medical history and make recommendations specific to your needs, but often recommends taking acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 325 mg two tablets every 6 hours. Three ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) 200mg tablets can be taken every 6 hours. For maximum benefit, alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen every 3 hours. This will allow you to take something for pain every 3 hours without the concern of overdose.

For severe pain, use the prescription given to you. If taking the prescription, take it instead of the acetaminophen and alternate it with ibuprofen 600 mg. every 3 hours. If the pain does not begin to subside in 2 days, or increases after 2 days, please call our office: Fredericksburg Dental Center 540-373-5642


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