Oral Surgery

Removal of Teeth

The term extraction usually sends shivers up people's spines along with all sorts of thoughts of pain. The truth of the matter is that having a tooth pulled, even an involved one such as a wisdom tooth is not painful at all. An anesthetic such as Novocain is given. Some dentists have the facilities to give you an IV Sedation, which will put you into what is known as twilight sleep. If you do not like to hear what is going on around you many dentists have headphone that you can listen to during your visit so as to help make you more comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.

After the tooth has been pulled there may be tenderness in the area where the tooth was. This is normal, having a tooth pulled is a form of surgery, and any area would be tender after such a procedure. Your dentist will give you complete instructions on care after the procedure has been performed and in a few days healing will be almost complete. Please speak with your dentist, he or she can answer any questions you may have and help make you more comfortable.

Dry Socket

A dry socket can occur after a tooth has been extracted where the blood clot fails to form or disintegrates without undergoing organization. It can be accompanied by neuralgic pain but without suppuration (infection / pus). A dry socket usually occurs as a result of too much rinsing or "spitting" and thus the blood clot is dislodged or never really forms. The blood clot acts as a bandage over the recent extraction site. Symptoms can include a constant throbbing over several days - "it doesn't seem to go away". If you think that you have a dry socket, your dentist should be contacted.

Wisdom Teeth

Despite their name, wisdom teeth do not bring wisdom. As a matter of fact, because the skull and jaw of modern man is much smaller than that of our ancestors, most people do not have enough room for wisdom teeth, or third molars. It is for this reason that wisdom teeth present so many problems.

They are very difficult to keep clean, because they are so hard to reach with a toothbrush. As a result third molars are often subject to cavities. Teething, when wisdom teeth are involved can be very painful because they have very little if any room to grow. They can also push against the teeth in front of them, causing pressure or worse, damage to the teeth in front of them. Wisdom teeth can come in between the ages of 17 and 21. Some of us never get wisdom teeth, and many children today are born without the buds for them altogether.

When wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow in, they can cause an infection. If there is pain or swelling due to the eruption of wisdom teeth, an aspirin or Tylenol™ and warm saltwater rinses will help to relieve some of the pain. It is important to remember that aspirin should never be placed directly in the mouth or on the gums as aspirin will burn the tissue. In order to prevent extreme problems associated with wisdom teeth it is important to contact your dentist as soon as symptoms begin.

Post- Operative Instructions After Tooth Removal

Please note: These instructions are for reference benefits only. Your dentist may give you the same instructions or instructions that have been modified based upon the individual care you need. Should you experience either unusual pain or swelling or both, please call your dentist immediately!

1. Bleeding is to be expected following extractions and other surgical procedures. The gauze that has been placed in your mouth before you left the office should remain in position for at least 45 minutes. At the end of the 45 minutes, please take two or three pieces of gauze, fold in half and if needed fold again and replace the gauze that is in your mouth and continue biting very firm on the gauze for another 45 minutes - total time biting on gauze is approximately 1 ½ hours. Should the bleeding continue after this, repeat the process, placing gauze for another 45 minutes. Should there continue to be excessive bleeding do as follows: ¨ Wipe off excessively large blood clots with sterile gauze. ¨ Place folded gauze over the bleeding area. ¨ Bite firmly on pad and maintain gentle pressure for 45 minutes. ¨ Contact the office or call the emergency telephone number if bleeding persists.

2. Pain. Some discomfort is normal following surgery. Please take two aspirin or Tylenol™ or Advil™ or other over-the-counter analgesic as soon as you arrive at home. Continue to take the analgesic every three to four hours at least for the first day to minimize any discomfort. If you have been given a prescription for pain medication, please take as directed.