Extraction or having a tooth pulled is one of the most frequently requested services by people who come to a dental office in pain.
Extraction or having a tooth pulled is one of the most frequently requested services by people who come to a dental office in pain. Still, a root canal is generally the more preferable option to relieve pain from an infected tooth. Patients make decisions about extractions and root canals based on the quality of the tooth in question and affordability. Root canals are initially more expensive than extractions, although the longer term consequences including the potential placement of dental implants can offset initial savings.
Even though most dental extractions proceed without any complications, some problems can occur. Usually these take the form of pain, bleeding, infection, swelling, as well as difficulties extracting broken root tips, bone chips and fragments.
It is important for a good blood clot to form after an extraction. Avoiding rinsing the mouth the day of the extraction and then following a course of very gentle rinsing can help this process. Dentists also advise against smoking, drinking from straws, spitting when brushing teeth, or any other activity that creates a vacuum in the mouth. Ice packs applied frequently for short periods of time after extractions are helpful in controlling facial swelling.
Pain following an extraction can last as long as a week but should begin improving after the first day. Pain that seems to be getting worse after two days should be considered abnormal and may require evaluation by the dentist. Pain that increases after a dental extraction might be due to a dry socket, a condition usually treated by dentists rinsing the socket with an antiseptic mouth rinse, packing the area with a medicated dressing, and prescribing pain medication.
Last updated: 16-Jun-05