Sometimes it is necessary to have a tooth pulled out as an adult. Ideally, permanent teeth would last a lifetime but if the tooth is badly damaged for example, or in a case of trauma or decay, tooth extractions become necessary. Teeth could be removed if you have a crowded mouth with the aim of aligning teeth. Other times, the idea is to create room for a tooth to erupt. In such a case, full and partial dentures are not necessary.
If you have tooth decay and the damage has extended to the pulp, bacteria can enter and cause an infection. When root canal therapy is not possible, then the next best option is for the tooth to be pulled so that the decay does not spread. In some cases, it could be the tissue supporting the tooth that is infected so that it necessitates an extraction.
During the procedure, the dentist will inject you with a local anaesthetic to numb the area. Depending on the situation, the surgeon may use a general anaesthesia to help you to sleep through the extraction. Should the tooth be impacted, the dentist will also cut away bone and gum tissue. After the tooth is pulled, clot forms in the socket and the dentist packs a gauze pad or self-dissolving stitches. When the clot breaks loose, the condition is called a dry socket.
How long to wait after extraction to fit dentures
Some people prefer to get full and partial dentures immediately after extraction. Note that this can case, sores to develop. You will also need to see the dentist within the next two days for them to make adjustments and to relieve sores.
Ideally, you would wait a maximum of eight weeks after tooth extractions to get fitted for dentures. However, every person is different and some people may have to wait longer. Be sure to have regular check-ups for the dentist to monitor progress.
There is a third option where you can have the dentures fitted once the jaw heals; typically between four and six months. This option works excellently for both full and partial dentures. However, the dentist will help you make this choice.
How to look after your mouth after tooth extraction
If the dentist recommends a waiting period after tooth extractions, you will need to care for your mouth as you wait. Unless the dentist directs otherwise, avoid rinsing your mouth 24 hours after surgery. After that, you can rinse with warm salty water. Do this at least three times a day within the first week of surgery.
You will need to keep eating healthy. You can start with soft foods and only introduce hard foods when you feel less pain. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Stay away from carbonated drinks or any foods that could lodge in the sockets.
If the dentist placed dissolving stitches in the sockets after a tooth extraction, observe them for post-operative bleeding. The sutures should be able to disappear in three weeks. In the meantime, take any prescriptions that were given for pain relief.
If you happen to feel severe pain, contact your oral surgeon. Visit them as well if you experience things like bodily illness, a fever, nausea or a rash. For some people, antibiotics may need to be prescribed. You should expect to see some swelling. Apply a pack of ice to the jaw to help control the swelling. Do not keep the ice packs on the face for more than 20 minutes.
If you are a smoker, avoid smoking during the first seven days after the surgery. This will help you to heal faster and to prevent dry sockets. Remember that the point of care is to make your healing process smoother and faster. However, every individual is different so always ask for specific tips from your dentist.
If you want to learn more about having dentures fitted, contact your local denture specialist.