Care After a Tooth Extraction

Are you dreading a tooth extraction? Don't because most extractions are straightforward and comfortable when your dentist is Dr. Jeffrey tooth extractionWelnak in West Allis, WI. His gentle and highly skilled service will take care of that problematic tooth and put you on your way to full oral health and function. Learn the details on tooth extraction and after care here.

Reasons for tooth extractions

While the team at Root River Dental works hard at preventive dentistry and its many benefits, sometimes a tooth cannot be saved. Reasons for tooth extraction include:

  • Advanced decay or abscess
  • Cracked tooth or root structure
  • Mobility due to injury or advanced gum disease and bone deterioration
  • Impaction below the gum line, especially prevalent with wisdom teeth, or third molars
  • Retention of baby teeth beyond their usefulness (they can impede eruption of adult teeth)
  • Advancement of orthodontic treatment
  • Advancement of cancer treatment when teeth are in the path of head and neck radiation

Whatever the reasons, rest assured your West Allis, WI dentist has carefully examined the tooth and considered all your options before advising tooth extraction.

The actual extraction

A simple extraction usually requires nothing more than a locally injected anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth.
After the area is numb, Dr. Welnak uses a small tool called an elevator to gently rock the tooth and enlarge the size of the socket. This process also detaches the tooth from the periodontal ligament which anchors it to the jaw bone. When the socket is sufficiently large, the doctor grasps the tooth with a dental forceps and pulls it out.

Following extraction, the dentist cleans the area and sutures the gums closed. The patient must bite on a sterile gauze pad for 15 to 20 minutes to quell the bleeding and begin the formation of a clot.

At-home care

Dr. Welnak advises a simple self-care routine for recovery from extraction. It includes:

  • Rinsing with salt water for a day or two
  • Antibiotics if prescribed
  • A soft diet for two to three days
  • No smoking or drinking with a straw for two to three days
  • Returning to the office for suture removal as required

It's important to avoid using a straw or smoking because the suction can dislodge the blood clot which forms in the socket. Without a clot, a painful dry socket develops. This infection deteriorates the jaw bone. Occurring in three to four percent of extractions, according to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, a dry socket requires immediate care from your dentist who will flush the area with antiseptic medication and apply a healing paste. Oral antibiotics may be needed as well.

Don't be overly concerned

You'll receive the best of care at Root River Dental. If you have a troublesome tooth, please call Dr. Jeffrey Welnak for an appointment. Phone (414) 545-2050.