Father with Large Smile Hugging Young DaughterTooth extractions are one of the most frequently performed procedures by our doctors at Coastal Virginia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Chesapeake. During initial consultations, our doctors field many questions regarding the healing and recovery process after a tooth extraction. Because they want every patient to be completely prepared and knowledgeable about their upcoming procedure, we want to further explain what you can expect after you have your tooth or teeth pulled.

A Little More About Tooth Extractions

To put it plainly, tooth extraction is when our doctors pull a tooth. Sometimes the process is very simple and straightforward. Other times tooth extractions require more surgical involvement.

To begin the process, our doctors will numb the tooth, bone, and gum tissue with a local anesthetic, so patients are comfortable and won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

After patients have successfully been numbed and prepared for the procedure, our doctors will use special tools to help the tooth extraction go smoothly. These tools might include extraction forceps or dental elevators. While pain is avoided, patients will feel pressure as our doctors work to remove the tooth.

When the tooth has been removed, our doctors will get to work cleaning out the empty socket where the tooth was. This will remove any infected tissue and allow the healing process to go more smoothly. They will then rinse the area with a saline solution to remove any tooth or bone fragments left behind. For Chesapeake patients having wisdom teeth or molars removed, a larger wound may be created. In this case, our doctors will use stitches to close the wound and place gauze over the extraction site.

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Healing from Tooth Extraction

After a tooth extraction, Chesapeake patients can expect to experience a bit of soreness. Most often, relief can be found by using over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol. Patients may also experience a fair amount of bleeding, but this can be controlled by applying pressure to the extraction site with gauze.

For most patients, the healing and recovery process after tooth extraction will look like this:

  • Blood clots will form over the surgical site. These blood clots are important and need to remain in place as you heal. If they become dislodged, you could end up with a painful complication called dry socket.
  • Patients can expect the initial swelling in their mouth and cheeks to improve within 2-3 days after tooth extraction.
  • If our doctors used stitches to close up your surgical sites, they would remove them about 7 days after your tooth extraction procedure.
  • Stiffness in the jaw should subside within 7 to 10 days after your procedure.
  • Bruising around the face should be gone within 2 weeks following your tooth extraction.

Ways to Promote Faster Healing After Tooth Extraction

Our doctors want your healing and recovery process to go smoothly and quickly. In order to help speed up the process and avoid complications, be sure to follow these tips:

  1. Blood clots after tooth extraction are normal and needed. Do not dislodge the blood clots from the surgical site.
  2. To avoid swelling or excessive bleeding, keep your head elevated for the first several days.
  3. To reduce swelling on the face, apply ice to the area in 15-minute increments.
  4. Hydration is key to proper healing after any procedure. Be sure to drink lots of fluids in the week following your tooth extraction.
  5. During the liquid diet portion of your recovery, be sure to choose liquids that are healthy and high in protein.

Call Our Doctors in Chesapeake with Any Questions

If you have any questions about your recovery and healing process, do not hesitate to call our doctors. They and their friendly team are here to help! No question is too small.

Just contact our Chesapeake office to get started.