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As a kid, losing a tooth is paramount to winning the grade school lottery. You are now a celebrity. Everyone offers their congratulations and a magical fairy shows up to give you money.
Somewhere between the money-bearing pillow and the toothless school photos, losing teeth became less enchanting. As an adult, losing teeth isn’t as simple as waiting until you come of age (we’re way passed that part). Now it’s a scheduled and intentional extraction procedure designed to care for your mouth. We are talking about a tooth extraction.
Reasons For Pulling A Tooth
While adult teeth are meant to last a lifetime, sometimes they are removed in order to preserve dental and overall health. There are several reasons why pulling teeth is the answer.
- A crowded mouth: If your teeth are too big for your mouth, one or more may need to be removed to make room for the others. This is often done to prepare for braces so that your teeth have adequate room to grow in correctly. This is also why wisdom teeth are commonly removed.
- Tooth decay: If a tooth has too much damage or decay and can’t be restored, pulling teeth might be required. You don’t want the decay to spread to other teeth, and if a bad tooth is beyond repair, it is important to address it while the problem is confined to that tooth. Untreated hopeless teeth can cause unhealthy infections that affect your body. There are several options to fill the gap including bridges or implants.
- Infection: The roots of teeth can be infected depending on the extent of decay. If this is the case, and it can’t be fixed with antibiotics or a root canal, an extraction will be necessary.
- Risk of Infection: Sometimes teeth are pulled simply because the risk is too great. This may be the case for chemotherapy, radiation, or organ transplant patients.
Different Ways To Pull Teeth
Although effective, the old fashioned string and a door trick or ice skate method is not the ideal way to do a tooth extraction. Extractions can be categorized as either simple or surgical.
- Simple tooth extraction: A simple tooth extraction does not require sectioning or splitting the tooth itself nor removal of bone surrounding the tooth. Typically simple extractions only require instruments to lean on the tooth for removal.
- Surgical tooth extraction: Surgical tooth extraction does require the tooth to be sectioned and occasionally bone to be removed.
Both simple and surgical extractions at renew Institute in Louisville, KY can be easily accomplished. Our goal is to carefully preserve gum and bone structure so that this site can later host a dental implant if that is desired.
Aftercare Of Tooth Pulling
At renew Institute in Louisville, KY, we want to make sure our patients are comfortable in our office and when we send them home. To assist with healing after an extraction, we utilize platelet rich plasma (PRP) and platelet rich growth factor (PRF or PRGF) to improve your post-operative experience and enhance healing.
After your tooth extraction, you will be given some aftercare tips to help the healing process. These instructions are designed to help you recover quickly and experience less pain. If you follow these instructions, the entire healing process should be easy.
- Ice Packs: We will provide ice packs and suggest cold liquids just in case, but most patients do not experience notable swelling. If you do need an ice-pack, apply it 20 minutes off and on throughout the subsequent day until pain and swelling have been reduced. Do not forgo sleep to apply ice.
- Gauze: In place of gauze pads, we use your tissues (PRP/PRF – extracted via a simple blood draw while you nap) as your personally produced bandaid, thus bleeding is well controlled and not something to be concerned about.
- Medication: Take all medications as prescribed.
- Rest: You’ll want to allow yourself time to rest and relax for the first 24 hours. This is not the time to plan a big project, make important phone calls, change your will, or post anything to social media accounts that cannot be retracted. Do not plan to go back to work or continue your regular routine the following day.
- Eating and Drinking: The day after the procedure, stick with only soft foods, such as yogurt, pudding, and applesauce. As you heal over the next few days, you can slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet. Do not use a straw for the first 24 hours. This can loosen blood clots causing a dry socket.
- Teeth Brushing: Don’t rinse or bother the site for 24 hours after the tooth extraction. You want to allow the site to clot and heal correctly. After 24 hours, add a half-teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water to rinse out your mouth. You may brush and floss your teeth like normal, but avoid the extraction site until it has healed completely.
Signs You Need To Call Your Dentist
After your tooth extraction, it’s normal to feel some discomfort or mild soreness. Please notify us if you experience any of the following:
- Excessive bleeding that lasts longer than 12 hours: This could be a sign that your blood is not clotting correctly and may need to be addressed by us.
- Fever, chills, or nausea: This could be a sign of an infection that requires an immediate change in antibiotics. This will typically occur 5-7 days after extraction.
- Swelling or redness at the site: This is another common sign of infection and you should notify our office ASAP.
FAQs About Pulling Teeth
It’s finally appropriate to have ice cream for dinner. Other options include:
- Cool Soup: Soup is easy to eat and has more nutrients than ice cream, so it’s a good option. Just make sure it’s smooth as possible and keep it lukewarm, not too hot. Keep it minimal with very few pieces of vegetables, husks or pasta. Don’t choose a soup that requires a lot of chewing. Gazpacho is a great option.
- Smoothies: This is one of the best options because you can add protein, calcium, greens, fruits, vegetables and probiotics – just make sure to use a spoon. DO NOT USE A STRAW!
- Scrambled Eggs: This is a good option for soft food that’s packed with protein and you can add as much cheese as you want! Just be sure they aren’t too hot.
- Soft Foods: This includes things like pudding, applesauce, yogurt, Jell-O, etc.
You should treat your tooth extraction like you would a new pair of shoes. Don’t try to run a marathon in them right away. Start slow with smaller meals and softer foods. The most important thing is that you try to maintain an adequate and healthy diet. We care about your oral health, but your overall health is important to us too.
After the tooth extraction, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap. This initial healing period usually takes about two weeks. However, if open gaps are left between teeth or above and below teeth in the mouth, have a plan to replace the tooth to prevent teeth from shifting.
Pain and soreness are not common after a tooth extraction. Our patients report little to no pain after extractions. If you are the exception to this rule, and are still experiencing any discomfort after having taken prescribed medications please let us know immediately. Some bone grafted sites can take weeks to seal over the added material. Occasional granules can come loose, but is not problematic.
After the first 24 hours following a tooth extraction, you can begin to add more solid foods into your diet, but you’re not going to be ready for potato chips anytime soon. Stick with things that are easy to eat like pancakes, eggs, mashed potatoes, soft pasta, etc. If you can easily cut it with a fork, you can eat it after 24 hours. You should wait about two weeks before eating any crunchy or hard foods.
A New Kind Of Tooth Fairy
At renew Institute, we are known for our minimal pain procedures and our tooth extractions are no different. We understand that going to the dentist to have your teeth pulled probably isn’t your favorite thing to do. That’s why we take several measures to ensure your comfort before, during, and after your procedure.
We utilize deep sedation. We walk you through the complete procedure and explain your options so you are in complete control every step of the way. We do our part so you can live comfortably and smile with confidence. Call us to schedule a consultation!
Let us help bring back your best smile…
A superior dental experience is only a consultation away!