Information on Extractions
Extraction or removal of a tooth may be necessary due to the following reasons:
- Infection/ Abscess
- Tooth is Severely Broken/Unrestorable
- Damaged bone/jaw during trauma
- Dental crowding and orthodontic reasons
- Impacted, unfavorable position
Successful extractions rely on the practitioner to appropriately plan pre-, peri- and postoperative care. Pre-operative planning refers to knowledge of the patient’s medical status and whether premedications and supplemental agents are needed and also to plan which day and time to book appointments (cancer treatment, dialysis).
Peri operative care refers to care provided during the procedure which can include attention to medications, technique and patient monitoring. Peri-operative care also includes surgical technique.
Post-operative care refers to instructions and education given to patients and their caregivers regarding the use of care of the procedure was complete. These can be instructions related to anti-inflammatory/pain medication, wound care and activity limitations.
Immediately following surgery:
- Have your child bite down gently on the gauze pad the dentist has placed over the surgical area.
- Keep your child’s head elevated avoid anything energetic for first 2 days.
- Keep your child hydrated.
- Avoid brushing and rinsing the first day but the next day begin cleaning by brushing around the surgical site and rinsing with salt water after meals.
- Place ice packs on the face near the surgical area to control the swelling.
- Bleeding may occur the first day, if excessive bleeding bite on gauze for 10 minutes and if concerned contact your dentist. Bleeding should stop after 24 hours.
- It is normal for some swelling to be present after an extraction. The swelling should begin to start reducing by day 3. If the swelling is increasing after day 3 you must contact your dentist as this could be an infection.
- Take prescribed medication accordingly. Your dentist will review pain medication required.
- Eat soft foods the first 2-3 days.
- The numbness will take 2-6 hours to go away. Watch that your child does not bite his lip or tongue when numb.
Possible Complications After a Tooth Extraction:
It’s normal to have some bleeding after a tooth extraction. Saliva with a pinkish tint and some oozing is common in the first few hours after an extraction. Control excessive bleeding by using dampened gauze or a moistened tea bag (the tannic helps blood vessels contract). Gently bite down on the gauze/tea bag for 30 minutes. Increase in blood flow to the head can cause excess bleeding. Raised tempers, sitting upright and exercise can all increase blood flow to the head.
Bone or Tooth Sequestra
On some very rare occasions there can be a small bit of the tooth or bone that the dentist is unable to remove. With baby teeth with partially resorbed roots it is possible that a small piece of root could be left behind without knowing. These dead bone fragments or bone sequestra will naturally work their way out through the gums during the recovery period, this can be a little painful until the fragments are removed. Please call our practice immediately if you notice sharp fragments breaking through the surgery site.
Dry Socket is inflammation of the bony socket where the tooth was extracted from. This may happen if the blood clot overlying the bone was lost prematurely. Dry sockets do not seem to happen after extraction of baby teeth. Dry socket is more common after extraction of adult teeth and more common in female patients, smokers and after alcohol use. A dry socket usually presents at day 3 with unbearable pain that cannot be treated with ibuprofen. This will require a visit to the dental office to place a packing in the bone.
In order for our patients to be as comfortable as possible during their extraction we make sure they are numb! This numb feeling should wear off within 1 to 6 hours after the extraction.
An ice pack should be applied immediately after the extraction to the facial areas near the extraction. The ice pack should be used at 10 minute intervals on the day of the extraction. After 36 hours it will no longer be beneficial. Moist heat should be used instead at this time. Swelling should subside almost entirely within 2 – 10 days after surgery.
Trismus is difficulty in opening and closing the mouth. It can take patients’ chewing muscles and jaw joints 3-5 days to recover. This soreness can make it hard to open and close the mouth. This soreness should eventually subside. Please contact our office on (306) 374 7111 if you have any worries or are experiencing any other complications.
Antibiotics are only used to treat infection and for prevention of infective endocarditis on patients with certain preexisting medical conditions. Dental pain without signs of infection (high fever, swelling, lymphadenopathy) is best treated with anti-inflammatory medications. Our office follows current prescribing protocols to reduce the formation of antibiotic resistant superbugs by not overprescribing antibiotics.