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In many cases, our dentist, Dr. Steven Rattner and the staff at Steven Rattner DDS will do everything possible to save a tooth that has been damaged by trauma or by disease. But there are some situations in which a tooth needs to be extracted. An impacted wisdom tooth may require a surgical extraction, while teeth that need to be removed to relieve tooth crowding or to make room for orthodontic, or because they no longer viable will need to be removed via a simple extraction. In a simple extraction, the dentist will loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator before removing it with forceps.

A surgical extraction and some simple extractions will need to stitches afterward. However, in many cases, your dentist may send you home with a prescription for an antibiotic or a pain reliever. If your dentist has not given you a prescription, you can still use an ice pack and an over-the-counter pain medication.

After the extraction, a blood clot will form in the socket, which will protect the exposed jawbone and nerves. If that blood clot is ruptured or removed, you will be vulnerable to infection, and more than likely, you will be in intense pain. If you experience dry socket, you should contact the dentist right away. Your dentist will clean the area and apply a dressing.

Your job after an extraction is to make sure that you do not end up with dry socket. For the first few hours after your procedure, you should refrain from eating or speaking. When you do feel like eating, you should eat cool soft foods, and keep that food on the side of your mouth opposite the extraction. After 12 hours, you can brush your teeth, but you should rinse the extraction site with salt water or an antiseptic rinse. Smoking can create suction that could dislodge the clot, as could using a straw.

If you have a tooth that has been causing you pain, and you live in the College Park, Maryland, area, you can call 301-474-8277 to schedule an appointment at Steven Rattner DDS.