Tooth Extraction – What to Expect

Our teeth are important and we should all strive to keep them for our entire life. However, sometimes having a tooth pulled in adulthood is necessary.


There are a number of reasons as to why, including joint problems in your jaw; shifting teeth; a tooth too damaged to be repaired; infection; baby teeth that don’t fall out; your third molars (wisdom teeth) are impacted (wedged between the jaw and another tooth or teeth); and, maybe there’s a need to create room for other teeth (such as when you’re getting braces).


Before having a tooth or teeth removed, let your Red Deer dentist know your complete medical history, the medications and supplements you take, and if you have a medical condition, impaired immune system, past surgeries, and a history of bacterial endocarditis.


Dentists and oral surgeons routinely perform tooth extractions. You may need an examination to check mouth condition, cleaning to prevent infection, or x-rays to assist the dentist in visualizing the extraction before the procedure.


Before pulling the tooth, your dentist will give you some local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed.


Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few self-dissolving stitches to close the gum edges over the extraction site.


Following an extraction, your dentist will send you home to recover, typically taking a few days. To help minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of infection, and speed recovery:

  • Your dentist will use a gauze pad to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form in the tooth socket, leave it in place for three to four hours after the extraction. Take painkillers as prescribed.
  • Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep down swelling. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time, every two hours as required.
  • Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket. Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours. Do not smoke, which can inhibit healing.
  • Limit activity for the next day or two. After 24 hours, GENTLY rinse with your mouth with a solution made of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 8 ounces of warm water. Eat soft foods, such as soup, pudding, yogurt, or applesauce the day after the extraction. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth, but be sure to avoid the extraction site, to help prevent infection.


If you have a toothache, you will know. It may show up with some swelling on the gums, throbbing or sharp pains from the tooth and possibly drainage (if you have an infection). You may also experience a headache or fever, especially if you have an abscess or infection.


No Need to Panic when You Suffer a Toothache, but Don’t Neglect It

In a dental emergency, you can reduce the aches and pains at home, but you must follow up with your dental professional in order to ensure that the problem is treated appropriately. Contact your family dentist in Red Deer right away for an emergency appointment.


In the meantime, in addition to pain killers such as Tylenol or Advil, here are some simple steps you can take in order to find relief:

  • Saline Rinse – A solution of warm water mixed with table salt creates a natural saline rinse. Swish it around your mouth and repeat as often as needed. It can help with pain caused by a broken tooth or wisdom teeth that are attempting to make an appearance.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Use this instead of a mouthwash. It can help remove impurities.
  • Hot and Cold Compress – If you notice swelling, using ice cubs wrapped in a towel or cloth to hold over your cheek. If this does not bring relief, change over to a hot compress but just make sure that it is not too hot.
  • Teabags – Warm used tea bags can be placed on the sore area. The natural tannins inside the leaves can help naturally numb an aching sensation.


Tooth Extraction in Red Deer

At Parkland Mall Dental Centre, our dedicated team of professionals are here to help you. Contact Parkland Mall Dental Centre today at 403-342-1118 to schedule an appointment in Red Deer, Lacombe, Blackfalds, Delburne, and surrounding areas of Alberta.


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