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Although dental medicine has progressed by leaps and bounds over the years, there are still occasions in which one or more teeth need to be extracted. An extraction may be needed to make room for orthodontics, to relieve a crowded mouth, or to address problems associated with wisdom teeth. At times, a tooth may be so damaged by trauma or disease that it can’t be saved. In that instance, your dentist will discuss tooth replacement options with you after the extraction.

In a simple extraction, your dentist will loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator, before removing it with a pair of forceps. The dentist may close the socket with a single stitch, or may just send you home after making an appointment to replace your tooth.

While you recover, you may not have much of an appetite, but if you do feel hungry, eat soft, cool foods and chew on the side of your mouth opposite of the extraction. While you can brush your other teeth, rinse the extraction area with a saltwater solution or an antiseptic rinse.

A blood clot has formed in your tooth socket, and it is protecting the exposed bone and nerves from infection. Following the above instructions will help keep the blood clot in place. Smoking or chewing tobacco can disturb or remove the clot, and tobacco use will slow the healing process. The suction created by using a straw can also affect the blood clot.

If the blood clot is ruptured or removed, (a condition known as dry socket) you will not only be vulnerable to infection, but you will probably be in intense pain. If you experience dry socket, contact your dentist right away for treatment.

If you have a toothache or other dental issue, our dentist, Dr. Geza Locsey can help. To make an appointment at French Run Family Dental in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, call 614-866-1234. We look forward to meeting you soon!