If the tooth is impacted (buried in the gum), the overlying gum tissue will be opened to expose the tooth. Using forceps, the dentist will grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth. This action will loosen the tooth and break the ligaments that hold the tooth in place. The tooth will be pulled, and a blood clot will form in the empty socket. A gauze pad will be packed into the socket. In some cases, a few stitches will be placed to close the gum edges.
Immediately After Procedure
You will need to bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad. This will reduce bleeding and permit a clot to form in the tooth socket. If rapid bleeding continues, replace with a fresh pad every 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, leave the pad in place for 3-4 hours.
How Long Will It Take?
It often takes about 20 minutes, but may take longer for impacted teeth.
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will feel pain in your jaw. You may be given pain medication. A complication called dry socket may occur. A dry socket forms when a blood clot does not form in the tooth socket, leaving the bone in the jaw exposed to air and food. A dry socket takes 2-3 weeks to heal and is painful during the healing process.
It will take 1-2 weeks for the site to heal. New bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap where the tooth was. Do not smoke. Not smoking will speed the healing process. Brush and floss your other teeth as normal to prevent infection where the tooth was taken out. Follow your dentist's instructions.
Having a missing tooth can lead to shifting teeth, improper bite, or difficulty chewing. Your dentist may attempt to restore the area with an implant, fixed bridge, or denture.
Call Your Dentist
Call your dentist if any of the following occur:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, or any discharge from the open socket
Excessive bleeding that continues for more than 4 hours after surgery
Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
New or unexpected symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
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