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What to expect for tooth removal


Tooth removal or extraction is usually done when the tooth is no longer serving its purpose. Examples are tooth that are decayed beyond repair, crowded dentition, loose tooth due to gum disease or when it is time for adult tooth to replace baby tooth.


The best time to go for an extraction procedure is in the morning after you have had something to eat and your usually medications for other condition such diabetes and hypertension. You may not be eating as well after the procedure as you may still be numb/bleeding/ tender.


As we need to numb the area with an injection, it is best not to do this when you are having a big and painful swelling. Area which is swollen and painful is sometimes not numbed well and that makes the procedure uncomfortable for you.


Before starting the procedure, make it a point to understand if there are other options beside removing the tooth. Once you have decided that removing the tooth is the best option, always plan for a replacement. A missing gap in your dental arch may not affect you overall eating significantly, but over time as teeth drift into the empty gap, misalignment and food trap leads to other dental issues.


Local anaesthesia injection is used after applying some surface anaesthesia gel. Injection and extraction done slowly can be quite painless. Once numbness has set in, you will feel the pressure and force during tooth removal but you should not feel any pain. Always let you dentist know if you felt pain. Your dentist will proceed to add anaesthesia and reach full numbness before proceeding.


After the tooth has been removed, take a while to rest before paying attention to wound care instruction by the dentist. I find this part the most important as pain sets in if wound is not taken care well. The gaping wound bleeding inside our oral cavity is stop by direct pressure and not by the gauze soaking up the blood. Theredore, there is no urgent need to keep changing the gauze when it is wet with your saliva and blood. Make sure that the gauze is placed in the right place before biting hard. You can only apply this pressure well when you are still numb. After the numbness, wound area will be tender and that is when oral pain medication is helpful and effective. It is also very important to not keep rinsing, spitting or use a straw in the first day. Best not to smoke after the procedure as it may aversely affect proper wound healing.


Normal extraction would heals uneventfully. However, is they are infected, they are know as dry socket. This condition is quite painful and you should return to the clinic for wound management if you find the pain so bad that it disturb your sleep after the extraction.


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