Most of what dentists do is try to repair teeth, but sometimes a tooth is too badly broken down or infected to be saved.  In those cases, extraction of the tooth is the only option.  If you have a tooth that needs to be extracted, Dr. Rowley will discuss this with you and the plan for taking the tooth out.  Some times the tooth can come out in one piece, sometimes it will need to be taken out in multiple pieces and/ or some bone will need to be removed to take the tooth out.  This is a routine procedure and does not require sedation, but oral sedation is an option for those with anxiety regarding the procedure.  

Taking antibiotics will not cure an infected tooth because the blood vessels in the tooth are no longer functioning and cannot transmit the antibiotic into the source of the infection.  If you are given antibiotics for an infected tooth, it will help diminish swelling and infection around the tooth, but will not cure the problem.  

After the surgery you will need to rest. You want to be driven home by a friend or family member.  You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups
  • ...and other food you can eat without chewing.

When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.


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