No one likes the idea of having a tooth out but at The Dental Studio in Colchester, we see extraction as very much a last resort – something we only consider when the tooth cannot be repaired and there are no other options available. The only other time extraction would be considered is in rare cases where it might be necessary to allow space for teeth to move and realign through the use of braces or other orthodontic methods.
If you do ever need an extraction, you’ll need to take care to rest afterwards, avoiding as much physical activity as you can for the rest of the day and keep your head elevated, using an extra pillow overnight. It’s also important to avoid hot food and drinks until the anaesthetic has worn off. Some people have a tendency to chew their cheek and that needs to be avoided too. Don’t rinse your mouth out for the first 24 hours. It’s very important to let the socket heal, so don’t eat on the affected side or keep exploring the gap with your tongue. You can eat and drink normally so long as everything you have is only lukewarm but alcohol should be avoided altogether for at least 24 hours and smoking for as long as possible. Cleaning is important but brush carefully around the area of the extraction. After the first 24 hours, you can help the healing process by using a salt water mouthwash. A healthy diet and a Vitamin C supplement will help too.
If you notice any bleeding, don’t rinse – it is much better to apply pressure to the socket by biting firmly on folded clean cotton material (such as a handkerchief) placed over the extraction site for at least 15 minutes. If bleeding continues after an hour or two, call us for advice. Pain relief if needed should be based on what you would normally take for a headache but avoid aspirin as it can cause further bleeding.