An extraction that does not require surgery is what is called a simple extraction. It is a straightforward procedure: the dentist will use a tool called an elevator to loosen your tooth, and then remove it with a pair of forceps. If necessary, the dentist will close the socket with a single dissolvable stitch, before sending you home. You will need to come in for a follow-up appointment to make sure that the socket is healing, and to discuss replacing the tooth.
A blood clot will form over the bottom of the socket. This may not sound important, but the clot is protecting the nerve and bone that has been exposed by the extraction. The clot keeps the are protected from heat and cold, as well as from bacteria that can cause an infection. If this blood clot is ruptured or removed, not only will you be at risk for an infection, but you will likely be in extreme pain. This is a condition known as dry socket. If you develop dry socket, contact your dentist right away. Your dentist will be able to clean the socket and apply a dressing to protect it.
You can prevent dry socket by eating cool soft foods for the first 24 hours after your procedure, and you should chew on the opposite side of the extraction site. You can brush your teeth, but you should gently rinse the site with a saltwater solution or an antibacterial rinse. Using straws or smoking may create suction which will remove or damage the clot. Tobacco use in general will slow the healing process.
If you have a tooth that has been causing you problems, you should not delay in calling Dr. Vinh T. Pham for an appointment. If you live in the Campbell, California, area, call 408-378-8500 to schedule a visit at Kirkwood Dental