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What to Expect from the Tooth Extraction Process

Preparing for a tooth extraction? The more you know upfront about proper preparation and recovery, the smoother this procedure will be.

Luckily, tooth extractions are very common and often quite simple to perform. Here at Bergen Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we extract teeth when a patient is experiencing pain, jaw problems, or other issues caused by disease (such as periodontal disease or severe decay), trauma (a broken tooth) or crowding (due to extra teeth or baby teeth that haven’t fallen out).

What can you expect from the surgery itself?

  • Pressure, but not pain – A local anesthetic will numb the tooth socket, tooth, jaw bone, and gums. During the procedure, you will feel pressure as we widen the socket in order to remove the tooth, but the nerves will be numbed so you won’t feel anything else.
  • Possible tooth sectioning – If a tooth root is curved or it is too difficult to expand a tooth socket, we might need to cut the tooth into sections and remove a section at a time.

Once we extract a tooth, we’ll go over our post-surgery instructions for proper recovery. Generally, patients are able to resume their normal activities within a few days of tooth extraction surgery. As you heal, here are a few things you can anticipate:

  • Swelling – Some swelling is normal within the first 48 hours. Applying ice to the area will definitely help. The worst of the swelling will be over within the first few days after surgery, and some patients experience no swelling at all.
  • Minor pain – Manageable pain is to be expected, and we will prescribe you pain medication and/or antibiotics to help. We’ll also go over appropriate healing procedures and over-the-counter medications that you can take.
  • Minimal bleeding – Immediately after the procedure, we will have you bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes to aid the formation of a blood clot. A little bleeding during the first 24 hours post surgery is perfectly normal.

Many patients ask us about when to resume a normal eating and dental routine. As soon as you are comfortable, we suggest eating and drinking normally, while avoiding crunchy, hard, or hot foods, alcohol, and drinking through a straw for the first 24 hours. Dental hygiene is also important, and we suggest you get back to a brush/floss/oral rinse routine right away to keep your mouth healthy. After the first 24 hours, you can also gently rinse with lukewarm salt water several times a day.

The team at Bergen Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will do everything we can to make the tooth extraction process as fast and comfortable as possible for you. However, like any surgery, you may feel discomfort following the procedure. If you experience any of these symptoms after a tooth extraction, we want to know:

  • Severe nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Worsening pain
  • Accidental displacement of the blood clot within the first few days

If you have any questions about the tooth extraction procedure, call us at one of our offices: Hackensack: 201.343.8297, Westwood: 201.664.5656, or Ridgewood: 201.444.4137. We can talk you through the process and any concerns you have.