Post OP Care and Instructions
Sometimes a tooth needs to be removed due to decay, disease, trauma or other reasons. Having a tooth removed or pulled is called a tooth extraction.
The following are some general guidelines to help promote healing, prevent complications and make you more comfortable. As with any procedure, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Before the extraction, you will be given an anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. Your mouth will remain numb for a few hours after the extraction. While your mouth is numb, you will need to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip or tongue. After the extraction, do not eat any foods that require chewing while your mouth is numb. The numbness should go away within a few hours. If it doesn’t, please contact us.
Bleeding After Tooth Extraction
We may place a gauze pack on the extraction site to limit bleeding. This will also help to form a blood clot. Leave the gauze in place for 30 -45 minutes after leaving our office. Do not chew on the gauze. There may be some bleeding and oozing after the pack is removed. If so, take clean gauze and fold into a pad thick enough to bite on. Dampen the pad with clean, warm water and place it directly on the extraction site. Apply pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the gauze becomes soaked with blood, replace with a clean one. Do not suck on the extraction site or disturb it with your tongue. A small amount of blood may leak from the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, please give us a call. (Keep in mind, a little bit of blood mixed with saliva can look like a lot of bleeding)
Tooth Extraction Care
The blood clot that will form in the tooth socket is an important part of the normal healing process. You should avoid doing things that may disturb the clot. Do not smoke. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously. Do not drink through a straw for at least 24 hours. These activities create suction in the mouth which could loosen the clot and delay healing. Avoid alcoholic beverages or mouthwash containing alcohol for 24 hours. Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction
Sometimes the blood clot does not form in the first day or two after the extraction or it forms but breaks down. The result is called dry socket. This can be very painful. Please contact our office if this occurs.
If we have prescribed medication to control pain and inflammation or to prevent infection, use only as directed. If the pain medication prescribed does not seem to work for you, do not take more pills or take them more often than directed. Please give us a call so we can help.
Cleaning Your Mouth
Do not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. However, brush and floss your other teeth well and begin cleaning the teeth next to the healing tooth socket the next day. You can also brush your tongue. This will help get rid of the bad breath and unpleasant taste that are common after an extraction. The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (half teaspoon salt in an 8oz. glass of warm water) after meals to keep food particles out of the extraction site. Try not to rinse your mouth vigorously (this may loosen the blood clot). If you have hypertension, discuss with us first whether you should rinse with salt water. Avoid using a mouthwash during this early healing period unless we advise you to do so.
Eating and Drinking
After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft foods. Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages. Do not use a straw. You may begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortable. For the first few days try to chew food on the opposite side of the extraction site. When it feels comfortable, you should resume chewing on both sides.
Swelling and Pain
After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling, this is normal. To help reduce swelling and pain, try applying an ice bag or cold, moist cloth to your face.
When to call us: If you have any of the following issues, call us immediately. If you cannot reach us, go to a hospital emergency room.
- Fever, nausea or vomiting
- Ongoing or severe pain, swelling or bleeding
- Pain that gets worse with time instead of better
Root canal treatment — also called endodontics (“endo” – inside, “dont” – tooth) — is a set of specialized procedures designed to treat problems of the soft pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth. While some mistakenly think of it as an unusually painful treatment, in most cases the procedure is no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. It's actually one of the most effective ways of relieving some kinds of tooth pain.
A root canal procedure becomes necessary when infection or inflammation develops in the pulp tissue of the tooth. Pulp tissue consists of blood vessels, connective tissue and nerve cells — which explains why a problem here may cause you to feel intense pain. In time, the pain may go away... at least temporarily. Without treatment, however, the infection won't. It can lead to a dental abscess, and may even contribute to systemic problems in other parts of the body.
Causes of Root Canal Problems:
Root canal problems stem from infection and inflammation of the tooth's pulp tissue. One potential cause of infection is deep tooth decay. Untreated dental cavities eventually allow bacteria to work their way down to the center of the tooth, where they may infect the pulp tissue. Another path by which bacteria may come into contact with pulp is via chipped or cracked teeth. Any opening in the protective enamel coating has the potential to allow bacteria access to the tooth's pulp.
Trauma to the tooth — the kind that might result from a sports injury or automobile accident, for example — is also a major cause of pulp tissue damage. In this case, it's essential to seek treatment immediately, both to try and save the tooth and to prevent future problems.
Will I Feel Pain During Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal is one of the most routine and effective procedures in the arsenal of dental treatments and can often be accomplished in just one visit.
Many root canal procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report they are comfortable during the procedure.
What to Expect After Root Canal Therapy
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel tender, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen are generally effective in relieving discomfort, but prescription medications may also be given if needed. During this period, it may help to avoid biting hard on the affected tooth. All of these symptoms, however, should be temporary.
To further protect the tooth and restore it to full function, you will need to have a crown placed on it. You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should schedule this appointment with Dr. Valerin as soon as possible. Most endodontically treated teeth once fully restored last as long as other natural teeth when practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing and regular checkups and cleanings.
When To Contact Our Office
- If you feel the treated tooth touching another tooth first or before any other tooth in the mouth, please give us a call. This is a sign that your bite needs to be adjusted if left alone could lead to pain.
- If you have severe pain/pressure or pain lasting longer than a few days
- Sensitivity to cold or hot