Recovery Tips for Dental Extractions

An experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Christopher C. “Chris” Babcock earned a medical degree (MD) and a doctor of dental medicine (DMD) from the University of Louisville. Dr. Christopher C. Babcock practices at Louisville Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in Kentucky with an emphasis on oral and maxillofacial surgery, providing dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, oral pathology, and dental extractions.

Dental extractions are of two types — simple dental extraction and surgical dental extraction. In a simple dental extraction, a visible and easily accessible tooth is pulled out with the aid of dental tools under local anesthesia. Surgical extractions, on the other hand, are performed when defective teeth cannot reliably be accessed directly. An incision is made in the connective tissue of the gum to remove the tooth. The typical post-operative recovery duration for either procedure is 48 to 72 hours, during which patients should relax to allow maximum clotting in the treated area. However, the connective tissue will typically require three to four weeks to heal completely.

To foster repair of connective tissue patients should avoid smoking or drinking through straws, as both practices disrupt the healing tissue. When brushing, patients should avoid brushing the gum area that was operated on. Rinsing the mouth with water frequently will help remove food particles from the incision area, helping to maintain good hygiene. Softer foods like yogurt, soup, and smoothies will reduce stress on the tissues. To minimize swelling and pain that otherwise may occur when the anesthesia wears off, patients should also take an OTC anti-inflammatory medication.



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