Learn what to expect after your tooth extraction from your McLean dentist.
So your dentist says you need a tooth pulled. No matter if your tooth is being extracted because it’s diseased, an impacted wisdom tooth or for orthodontic treatment, Dr. Cecilia Gyllenhoff and Dr. Samuel Cappiello, your McLean, VA dentists at McLean Dental Care, want you to know what to expect and what to watch for after you have your procedure.
What Happens After an Extraction?
Immediately after your tooth is extracted, your dentist will cover the hole in your gums with some gauze. You should apply gentle pressure to the gauze by biting down for about one hour, or until the bleeding stops, replacing the gauze every 15-20 minutes. Your dentist will give you some post-operation instructions on caring for your mouth, such as not eating hard foods or drinking through straws for a while, to help your healing process. Experiencing some pain and swelling after your surgery is normal and can be controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs and ice packs. Barring any complications, you should be back to normal in a few days.
But there is risk of complications, including:
- Dry socket—more common among smokers, this occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the tooth socket or when the clot becomes dislodged. You may be suffering from this if your pain has lessened for 2 or 3 days and then has suddenly worsened. This pain is sometimes also accompanied by an earache. Dry socket does go away by itself, but your dentist can place a gauze soaked in anesthetic on the area to eliminate the pain.
- Infection—your dentist will likely give you an antibiotic to combat any risk of infection, but it can occur. Signs for infections include high temperature, yellow or white discharge, pain and swelling. While all of these symptoms are normal after an extraction, they are cause for concern when they are persistent and excessive.
- Bleeding—bleeding will happen after your tooth is removed and may seem worse than it is as the blood mixes with your saliva. However, if your bleeding lasts more than a few hours, you should contact your dentist. They may have to clean out the area and close the wound with stitches if they haven’t already. This complication often happens when someone takes their gauze out too frequently to check if the bleeding has stopped or when they regularly take drugs that prevent clots.
Dental Care in McLean
Whatever you experience after your tooth extraction and whatever you dental needs, Dr. Gyllenhoff and Dr. Cappiello are there to help you. If you have any questions or concerns, call the McLean, VA dental office of McLean Dental Care at (703) 734-0100 today!