At Bentleigh Dental on McKinnon we are committed to helping our patents retain their teeth for life. However, we also understand that in certain circumstances it is not possible or even prudent to retain a tooth. In these instances we will recommend that a tooth be extracted.

All of our dentists are well trained and competent at extracting teeth. However, it is still sometimes necessary to refer people to an oral surgeon. We normally reserve these referrals for complicated extractions. In the planning of all extractions it will be necessary to take a radiograph assess the structure of the tooth to be extracted and its relationship to surrounding nerves, sinuses and other structures.

How should I look after my mouth after an extraction?

In the week after an extraction is is advisble to follow the guidelines listed here:

Do not rinse your mouth or drink through a straw for 24 hours. If you do this you may accidentally knock out the blood clot. This causes extreme pain.

The day after the extraction you may gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Do this three or four times a day for one week.

You will not leave the surgery until the bleeding has stopped. The gauze pack you have in your mouth as you leave the surgery should remain in place for half an hour. The spare gauze packs we give you are in case the bleeding recommences. If your socket starts to bleed again you must leave a pack in for half an hour while biting down firmly.

If for some reason the blood clot is lost from the extraction site, a “dry socket” may develop. This refers to inflammation in the bone and usually presents as pain, and may be accompanied by an unpleasant odour or taste that develops 1-2 days after the extraction. If you suspect this please contact the practice. If a dry socket occurs the level of pain experienced can be significant

Do not exercise, smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours. These activites increase the risk of a dry socket occuring.

It is better not to eat or drink until the numbness has completely disappeared. After this eat soft foods on the other side of your mouth.

You may require some post extraction pain medication. The level of pain medication you will require will depend upon the degree of difficulty of the extraction and your pain threshold. The dentist will guide you in this regard. The ideal time to take a pain reliever is as the numbness begins to wear off. This means the medicine has time to work before the feeling fully returns to the area.

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