Tooth Extractions IN ST. PAUL, MN

You and your doctor may determine that you need a tooth extraction 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 they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.

To avoid these complications, in most cases, we will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.

The Extraction Process

At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jaw bone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.

During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.

You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.

If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.

Sectioning a Tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

FAQ: Tooth Extractions

How long after tooth extraction can I eat food?

Avoid solid foods for the first 24 hours post-extraction. After this period, you can gradually reintroduce solid foods based on your comfort level and recovery progress, adhering to specific guidelines provided by your dentist.

Food to avoid after tooth extraction

To ensure a smooth recovery, avoid:

  • Hard, crunchy foods like nuts and seeds
  • Acidic foods such as citrus fruits
  • Spicy foods
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol and tobacco products

These items can aggravate the extraction site, disrupt healing, or lead to discomfort.

What are the best foods to eat after tooth extraction?

Focus on soft, easy-to-chew foods like:

  • Smoothies and milkshakes
  • Yogurt, especially varieties rich in probiotics
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Broth-based soups
  • Oatmeal or porridge
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Blended vegetables
  • Pudding or custard

These foods help promote healing and minimize discomfort.

What to make for dinner after tooth extraction?

Opt for gentle, nourishing meals such as:

  • Creamy soups (e.g., potato, butternut squash)
  • Mashed cauliflower
  • Pureed vegetable stew
  • Softly cooked pasta with mild sauce
  • Creamy risotto
  • Blended chili for a smooth consistency
  • Egg salad, which is soft and rich in protein
  • Avocado and tuna mash for a nutritious blend
  • Greek yogurt chicken salad for added creaminess
  • Nutrient-packed smoothies

Why can’t I eat dairy after tooth extraction?

After a tooth extraction, it’s advised to avoid dairy products initially. This precaution helps protect the blood clot in the extraction site. Dairy products, especially if they’re very cold or hot, might disrupt this clot, leading to complications like dry socket. Additionally, the acidic nature of some dairy items can irritate the wound, and harder cheeses may be difficult to chew, slowing down your recovery.

What happens in a tooth extraction?

During the procedure, your dentist uses special tools to gently loosen and remove the tooth. In some cases, an incision in the gums is necessary, especially if the tooth is decayed or fractured near the gum line.

How long does a tooth extraction take?

A single-tooth extraction typically takes 20-40 minutes. For multiple extractions, add about 3-15 minutes per tooth, depending on its location.

Is tooth extraction painful?

You should not feel pain during the extraction, thanks to numbing medications. You might feel pressure or pulling but oral sedatives can help you relax or even sleep through the procedure.

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