Tooth extractions are generally carried out as a last resort. Decay and gum disease are the two most common reasons for extracting teeth.
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Teeth may also need to be removed because of trauma caused by an accident, or for orthodontic reasons.
A tooth, particularly a wisdom tooth, may have to be removed because it has become impacted, which means it has not properly erupted through the gum. If left untreated an impacted tooth can cause gum problems.
All extractions are preceded by a very careful examination of the patient's medical history and a digital x-ray to show the shape of the roots.
Carefully placed anaesthetic ensures that the removal of the tooth is painless and once the tooth is removed all efforts are made to close the wound down and create a healthy blood clot.
Post-operative instructions, both verbal and written, are given immediately after extraction. The use of painkillers is advised, should the need arise. A follow-up phone call is carried out the following day to check that all is well. If the extraction was carried out over the weekend, the patient is given a number to call in case of emergency.
On the day of the treatment:
Should the wound start to bleed, apply a small compress. This can be made from some cotton wool in a clean handkerchief. Place this on the bleeding point and bite firmly on it for 5-10 minutes longer if necessary.
Any pain or soreness can be relieved by taking a pain relieving preparation, such as ibuprofen. NOT ASPIRIN as this can cause bleeding.
If prolonged bleeding or pain occurs, contact your dentist.
Day after treatment:
It may be beneficial to use an antiseptic rinse recommended by your dentist or a warm saline mouth rinse to bathe the wound. This may be carried out after each meal until healing is complete. A saline rinse is made by dissolving a level teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. The solution should be held in the mouth for two to three minutes to bathe the wound, and then discard.
Avoid over-vigorous rinsing.
IF IN DOUBT CONSULT YOUR DENTIST