Here at Daedalus Denture Concepts, we work closely with you and with your chosen dentist or other dental professional when it comes to tooth extractions. We know it can be a difficult and scary proposition. On your first visit, you may arrive not having seen a dentist for years or walk in with a referral in hand describing a treatment plan already determined. If you do not have a dentist or oral surgeon, we have a selection of trusted professionals for you to choose from. We will do our best to walk you through the process and be here to answer questions and make adjustments throughout your healing.
You may need a tooth or teeth extracted for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because of genetics, childhood conditions or because of medical reasons. Many medications can cause dry-mouth, resulting in tooth deterioration. Have a discussion with your dentist or doctor if you feel this may be an issue affecting you!
If not replaced in some form (dentures, partials, bridges, implants), the voids left after the removal of teeth can lead to multiple problems,. Depending on the location of the extracted teeth, you may experience one or more of the following. For some, a person’s chewing ability can be diminished, especially if you remove a large number of posterior teeth. Anterior teeth were not designed for chewing so you may find you’re swallowing your food partially whole and the remaining teeth may develop excessive wear or stresses resulting in further complications. You might develop problems with your jaw joints and adjacent or opposing teeth to your extraction sites may begin to shift or super erupt. You may also find it more difficult to smile naturally or become self-conscious when meeting new people. To try and avoid these complications, we will discuss various options open to you to help you decide which treatment is best for you.
The Extraction Process
We do not perform extractions here at our office. We do work with several dentist and oral surgeons who are very experienced and with whom we feel very comfortable referring our patients to.
In most cases, we pre-fabricate a denture or partial and deliver it to your doctor of choice prior to your extractions. Your doctor will then place it immediately after your extractions are complete so you will leave their office with your new smile in place. We will see you and remove it for the first time within 24 to 48 hours and continue to see you over the six to eight months making adjustments as you heal.
Each person is unique and has their own healing process so we include this follow-up care with every immediate or interim denture or partial.
After Extraction Home Care
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this. If you have excessive bleeding or it does not stop, call your oral surgeon or dentist who performed the extractions. They will be your contact for any medical concerns. If they are not available, call your personal physician.
Blood clots form in the empty socket left after extractions and are an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
- Avoid use of a straw, smoking or any other sucking motion.
- You can drink warm but not hot liquids.
- Leave any immediate dentures or partials in place for the first 24 hours and until your follow-up visit with us the next day.
We will be waiting to place tissue conditioners in your immediate dentures until after the danger of dislodging the blood clots are gone. This may take a couple weeks depending on your personal rate of healing.
Swelling and bruising is a normal occurrence. To help avoid or to address swelling, you can place ice packs on the outside of the extraction sites for 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours. After the first 48 hours, try heat instead.
Pain and Medications
We do not prescribe pain medication. Please talk with your oral surgeon, dentist or doctor about the appropriate ways for you to address pain relief. Many of our patients do experience greater discomfort on days 2 and 3 after extractions. Be prepared to take it easy, especially with multiple extractions.
Eating will be different for everyone. For simple extractions of just a few teeth, focus on chewing away from the extraction sites. If you are having full-mouth extractions, it will not be as simple. In either case, stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. For more extensive extractions, you may find soft foods such as scrambled eggs, puddings/ice cream, soups, smoothies and mashed potatoes will be a main stay for the first few weeks. As healing proceeds, add additional foods as you are able. Again, everyone is unique so it is hard to predict when you’ll be eating normal foods again. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If it hurts or is uncomfortable at your extraction sites, your not quite ready. If your denture/partial hurts in other areas, give us a call incase you need as adjustment!
Brushing and Cleaning
After extractions, avoid brushing the teeth or flossing near the extraction site for at least one day. After that, you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site, especially if they contain alcohol. Beginning 24 hours after the extractions, you can rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed. Warm salt water rinses are a very important part of your healing process so don’t forget them (and yes, remove your dentures prior to using the salt water rinses)!
Denture Care and Wear
Continue to wear your dentures at night for the first three to four days or until your swelling reduces. If you take your dentures out for an extended period of time to soon, you may swell and be unable to wear them until it decreases again. After this initial period, we do recommend removing them at night and soaking them in water or cleaner. There are some instances where continuing to wear them at night is advised; just ask us if you have questions!
During this healing period, your denture may act similar to a giant bandage, protecting your fresh extraction sites, but you will need to keep them clean. Remove them after eating and before and after sleeping to rinse and clean them. After the first couple days, this is a great time to rinse your mouth with warm salt water too. If at anytime you feel an area may be developing an infection, make sure to contact your dentist or oral surgeon right away.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged resulting in significantly delayed healing.
Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Call the oral surgeon or dentist who performed your extractions if your feel this has occurred.
After a tooth has been extracted, there will be a resulting hole in your jaw bone where the tooth was located. In time, this will smooth over and fill in with bone. You will notice changes, however, in this area as bone loss does occur post extraction, especially if the area is not prepped with bone grafting or an implant. Although the most rapid change is seen with in the first few months, it may take six to eight months to fully stabilize and changes will continue to occur throughout your lifetime. You may notice this change most as your dentures begin to feel loose. Minor looseness can be alleviated with the use of denture adhesives but having them relined will help your dentures to fit properly again.