While it’s always our goal to care for and maintain your natural teeth, there are cases when removing a tooth is in your best interest. We work to make extractions as easy as possible so you can concentrate on a quick recovery.
The Process of Tooth Extraction
At Kansas City Smiles & Co, we want to help you keep all of your teeth. Even so, there are times when a tooth extraction is the best option for maintaining your oral health in the long term. Tooth extractions at Kansas City Smiles & Co are typically a fast process. The most critical part of this process is recovery.
To encourage a proper healing process, we need to control the bleeding immediately following the tooth extraction. We will have you bite down on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the extraction to form a blood clot. It is important to not disturb the blood clot for the next 24 hours. That means you should avoid sucking through straws or you risk developing a dry socket.
For the swelling, we recommend placing an ice pack on the outer cheek. Once the swelling has decreased, a warm compress can be placed in the same area for comfort. You can also gently rinse your mouth with salt water to keep the extraction area clean.
How do I prevent dry socket after tooth extraction?
When you have a tooth extracted, you develop a blood clot shortly after the surgery to begin the healing process. If this blood clot becomes dislodged before your mouth has fully healed it can cause pain, this is called dry socket.
Six tips for avoiding dry socket are:
- Avoid straws or anything that creates a suction movement of air and cheek muscles.
- Avoid smoking tobacco as fast inhalation can dislodge your blood clot and the chemicals may prevent healing or cause an infection.
- Eat soft foods only like applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes for the first one or two days.
- Inquire about any medicines you’re taking to ensure they don’t interact with the healing process.
- Use proper oral hygiene to keep your mouth clean and consider an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on proper oral care to improve recovery time.
See our detailed aftercare instructions, for adults and children, using the links below.
When and why are wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth are the very last teeth to develop, and they grow in the very back of the mouth. In most cases, you will start to feel these teeth emerge when you are in your late teens or early twenties. Almost everyone has these teeth removed since they tend to grow at a severely slanted angle and will likely bump into other teeth and cause crowding. There is also very little space available for these teeth. Ultimately, about 85% of adults end up having their wisdom teeth removed.
What causes the need for tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. Teeth extraction usually occurs when a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay and there is too much damage for the tooth to be repaired by a filling or crown.
However, there are other reasons for tooth extraction including, extra teeth growing in that are blocking others, baby teeth that haven’t fallen out in time for the permanent teeth to come in, braces, or wisdom teeth that are commonly removed for medical reasons.
If you have more questions about tooth extractions, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.