Our talented dentists at Supertooth™ Dental Group may sometimes recommend extracting a tooth to protect your oral health.
Whether you see a dentist at one of our two or clinics in Germantown, or in Gaithersburg or Bethesda, Maryland, our team explains the reason for pulling your tooth and provides comforting sedation options to make your extraction as painless as possible.
Once the tooth is gone, you must properly care for your mouth so the empty tooth socket heals quickly and without problems.
Here’s what you can expect from a general dentistry procedure or specialty procedure when a tooth is extracted, how your mouth will feel, and how to care for your mouth after the tooth is pulled.
When would I need a tooth extraction?
The skilled and talented dentists at Supertooth™ always try to save your natural teeth whenever possible, but sometimes an extraction is best for your oral health. Most teeth extractions fall into two categories:
- Simple extractions: Crowded or damaged teeth usually fall into this category and are removed rather quickly while the patient is made comfortable by a local anesthetic.
- Complex extractions: These teeth are more complex and require minor surgery involving heavier sedation. An example would be removing impacted wisdom teeth.
Your Supertooth™ dentist may need to stitch the incision closed after complex extractions. They then pack the empty tooth socket with gauze. Leave the gauze in place until you’re told to remove it.
What happens to my mouth after a tooth extraction?
After a tooth extraction, your mouth may feel sore and be a bit swollen. This is especially true after complex extractions. Treat your mouth gently until the soreness and swelling subside. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications can help make you comfortable.
In addition to keeping the gauze packing in place, follow all other aftercare instructions to ensure your mouth heals properly.
How do I care for my mouth after a tooth extraction?
The oral care team at Supertooth™ provides you with detailed aftercare instructions before you leave our clinic. It’s vital that you follow these instructions closely to minimize the chance of complications, such as a dry socket, a painful condition.
Here’s a list of actions you should take after your tooth extraction:
- Leave the gauze in place for as long as our team advises to stop the bleeding and allow a clot to form.
- Use the medications our team recommends. These may include antibiotics and OTC pain relievers.
- Eat only soft foods and liquids for 24 hours after your extraction.
- Chew food on the side away from the extraction site once you begin eating.
- Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time to any facial areas that feel swollen.
- Rinse your mouth after eating to prevent debris from getting lodged in the extraction site.
Avoid the following actions:
- Don’t use a straw for the first three days after your extraction.
- Don’t smoke, as this increases the risk of developing a dry socket.
- Don’t consume hot foods or drinks for the first few days after the extraction.
- Don’t brush your gums the first few days of the extraction.
How do I know if I’m experiencing complications after an extraction?
Some possible complications can occur after your tooth extraction. Be aware of them and contact your nearest Supertooth™ clinic if you experience any of the following:
- Bad odor from the extraction site
- Throbbing pain
- Teeth shifting
- Prolonged tingling or numbness
- Inability to fully open your mouth a week after the extraction
What should I do after the extraction site is healed?
Your tooth extraction leaves an empty space in your smile, making eating more difficult. After your tooth socket heals, discuss with our team the options for replacing your tooth. Our Supertooth™ dentists can design custom dental implants that look and function just like your natural teeth.
Call one of our four clinics in Maryland today or book your appointment online if you need a tooth extraction or other professional dental care to preserve your smile and oral health.