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Dental extraction care

Image Dental: What to expect after a tooth extraction?

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After a tooth extraction, there are a few standard events which may happen and below are our advices on what to do.

Bleeding

After the extraction and curettage, we will advise you to bite on a sterile gauze for the next 15-20 minutes. The pressure from the biting helps to reduce the bleeding and keeps the clot within the socket. If bleeding starts later in the day, bite down on a piece of gauze for 15-20 minutes again to stem the bleeding.

Pain

Pain (and swelling) after extraction is normal and to be expected after the anesthetic wears off. This is due to the trauma of the procedure. Pain is usually worst 48 hours after the extraction. If the pain becomes uncomfortable, take your usual painkillers as advised. However, if the pain starts to throb/ache and taking painkillers does not alleviate the pain, contact your dentist immediately. This may be a case of ?dry socket? within the extraction wound.

Cleaning

For the first 24 hours, avoid brushing the immediate area of the extracted tooth, but do brush the other parts of the mouth. Also, avoid rinsing too vigorously. We suggest gently swishing water around the mouth and then allowing the water to flow out of the mouth passively over the sink. The idea is to protect the immature blood clot within the socket. After 24 hours, it is recommended to commence salt water rinses. A glass warm water with a teaspoon of salt dissolved. Sip and gently rinse the extraction site. Do this until you finish the whole glass. Try to do this at least after food or four times a day.

Alcohol and Smoking

For the first 24 hours at least, avoid alcohol (which thins the blood and can cause bleeding) and smoking (nicotine reduces blood supply available to the socket and can prevent proper formation of the clot). Both of these increases the risk of dry socket which is when the socket is devoid of a blood clot, thus exposing rough, painful bone.

Immediate Denture

If you have to wear an immediate denture after an extraction, try to wear it all the time (even when sleeping), except for taking out to clean it. The denture helps mould the shape of the extraction site over time. Within the first week, do not panic if the denture does not fit as well. This is due to the swelling of the soft tissues. Persevere, the denture will fit as the swelling settles. From time to time, the denture may get loose but your dentist will be able to tighten the clasps to fit better again.