Extractions of erupted teeth are usually performed using local anesthesia ("novocaine"). The dentist loosens the tooth by applying pressure and rocking the tooth back and forth. Sometimes the tooth may need to be cut or sectioned to remove it more gently. The extraction site will bleed and ooze for several hours following the procedure.
Gauze will be used to apply pressure at the completion of the surgery. You will be given extra, in order to change it when it becomes soaked. Ice applied to the outside of the face in 20 minute intervals can help reduce swelling. Oozing can be expected, but if bleeding continues for longer than 4 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, propping your head up on a pillow when lying down.
It is important to keep hydrated so be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink through a straw. Also, do not smoke, as that will delay the healing process. Pain medication will be prescribed to help with pain and healing. The area should be left alone for the first day, before you start any rinsing. Do not spit, in order to allow a proper clot to develop.
After 24 hours you can start to gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp of salt in 8 oz of water) several times a day. Inital healing usually happens within a week.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Avoid foods with small seeds which might get stuck in the extraction site. Some recommended foods are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Scrambled Eggs
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- ...and other food you can eat without chewing.