Decayed, loose and/or broken teeth can cause infections and pain. They usually need to be removed. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing many teeth at once. Based on the preference of the doctor and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer to go under a general anesthetic so that they will be sedated during the procedure.

Each tooth is loosened by gripping it tightly and wiggling it back and forth until it can be lifted out of the gums. Sometimes a tooth may be so tight that it cannot be simply lifted out of the gums. In cases like this the tooth will be broken up into pieces first before being removed. Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area. Soluble sutures are usually the best option, which will dissolve on their own.

After the surgery you will need to rest. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you should continue putting pressure on the gauze for 30 minutes. You may need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist may prescribe you pain medication or antibiotics, so take as directed. You can also use an ice pack to help reduce swelling and pain. Warm saltwater rinsing should start the day following the surgery.

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

•Mashed Potatoes
• Ice Cream
•Thin Soups
• ...and other food you can eat without chewing.

When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures, slow the clotting process, and may cause a “dry-socket”. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.

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