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What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction

If you have been advised that a tooth extraction is necessary you understandably may be feeling nervous. Whether you require simple or a surgical extraction the procedure can feel scary. First and foremost we hope that you understand that patient comfort is our number one priority. Our team will do everything possible to make this uncomfortable procedure as pleasant as possible.

After an assessment by your dentist you should be aware of the type of extraction you need, how many teeth need to be extracted, and the date of the procedure. After being given this plethora of information you are probably wondering what to expect after the extraction. Let us give you an idea of what your experience may be like.

What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction

Numbness

No matter the type of extraction your dentist will have thoroughly numbed the area with a local anesthetic. This ensures that you are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. After the procedure is complete you can expect it to take 2-5hrs for the anesthetic to wear off. This can be shorter or longer depending on how much was used.

Depending on the type of procedure you can help the anesthetic wear off by:

  • Gently massaging the area
  • Applying a warm compress

You should always consult your dentist first before trying any of these things as they may not be advised depending on the extraction.

Grogginess

The type of extraction will play a factor in how you feel in regards to feeling groggy. If you have received nitrous oxide during your simple extraction this will wear off quickly. However, if you were under general anesthesia for the procedure this can last a few hours. Please remember to be prepared to have a driver with you at your tooth extraction appointment.

Discomfort

After the local and/or general anesthesia wears off you may feel discomfort. Depending on the situation your dentist may prescribe you a medication to help with the discomfort or recommend over-the-counter medications. If the pain begins to worsen over time be sure to contact your dentist as you may be experiencing a complication called “dry socket” where the blood clot does not form correctly.

Special Dental Care

Your dentist will give you instructions on how to properly care for your mouth after the procedure. This aftercare will likely include things like:

  • Eating a soft diet for the first couple of days
  • Avoiding anything sharp, like chips
  • Not using a straw
  • Do not spit or rinse your mouth in the first 24 hours
  • Do not smoke
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth while avoiding the extraction site/s
Experiencing Complications

If you have had an extraction are experiencing symptoms, such as:

  • Increased pain over time
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the affected area
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain

Call your dentist immediately as these can be serious side effects that need treatment.

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