How to Avoid Complications of Tooth Extraction
Having a tooth extracted can be unpleasant! To avoid complications, follow the precautions and instructions from your dentist for preparation and aftercare.
There are many ways that you can prepare for a tooth extraction.
- Practice good oral hygiene (brush 2 x a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily)
- Give your dentist a full medical history letting them know if you are taking anticoagulants, aspirin, analgesics, oral contraceptives, have a bleeding disorder, suffer from a heart condition or a compromised immune system
- Discuss the specifics of the surgery with your dentist or oral surgeon including why the surgery is necessary
- Arrange transportation to and from the surgery as you may be groggy afterwards
- Ask your dentist if you need to fast before the extraction
- Pre-plan a menu of soft foods that require little or no chewing.
Aftercare is vital to reduce the possibility of complications. Pay close attention to your dentist’s instructions.
- Rest and keep the gauze in place for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure
- Don’t rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after treatment
- After 24 hours, keep area clean by irrigating with saline solution after meals and before bed
- Don’t disturb the blood clot
- Don’t smoke for a week as the chemicals can dissolve or dislodge the clot
- Don’t blow on anything, spit, suck on anything, drink through a straw or engage in strenuous activity for the first 24 hours
- Try not to sneeze/cough as it may dislodge the clot
- Stay away from hard or crunchy foods, hot liquids, alcohol and carbonated drinks for 2 to 3 days
- Have any stitches removed as recommended (if applicable)
- For minor swelling, use ice packs or warm compresses, keep your head elevated and use over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Take antibiotics (if prescribed)
- Replace the extracted tooth as soon as possible to minimize complications
A certain amount of pain, swelling, and bleeding are normal after a tooth extraction, but call your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain, swelling, or bleeding after the first four hours
- Fever, chills, signs of infection
- Nausea or vomiting
- Coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Persistent numbness
Initial healing of an extraction takes 5 to 7 days and full gum healing should occur in 3 to 4 weeks. Your dentist will work hard to make sure you have a successful experience with minimal pain and complications. However, no matter how careful you are complications can occur! If you have any questions or problems, call your dentist!
If you have need of a tooth extraction or have questions about this treatment, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317-7959.