Having your child undergo a tooth extraction, or having their teeth “pulled”, can be an intimidating experience in itself, what more the recovery process following the procedure! But, alas, have no fear! Because there are many ways you can ease the recovery process for you and your child!

Before discussing the recovery process, let’s first take a look at a brief overview of what happens during a tooth extraction. Dentists can perform teeth extractions for various reasons:

  • A broken or damaged tooth by decay or trauma
  • Overcrowding of teeth within the mouth
  • Removal of baby teeth that have not fallen out in time for permanent teeth to come in
  • Some source of infection in the teeth

Prior to the procedure, your dentist, or oral surgeon, will take x-rays of the area to formulate the best plan to remove the tooth. Then, medication may be prescribed for various reasons, such as to fight infection. Dental sedation may also be recommended during the procedure and should be discussed with your dentist beforehand. During the procedure, the dentist can perform either a simple extraction or surgical extraction depending on the complexity of your child’s case.

So, what can I expect following the extraction?

Going into this discussion, it’s important to remember that would size does matter, and the length of the recovery process can vary by complexity of the case. The recovery process tailored for you and your child should be discussed with your dentist or oral surgeon prior to the procedure.

Moving forward, here are some general guidelines of what to expect following the procedure and how to help relieve the discomfort:

Tenderness – Following the procedure, it’s completely normal for the affected area to feel a little tender for the first few days. If your child experiences such discomfort, the dentist may prescribe medication to ease the pain; however, in most cases, over-the-counter pain relief medication can suffice.
Bleeding – During the procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon may have needed to perform an incision to assist with the extraction, and the incision may continue to bleed for the first day. To combat this, bite firmly but gently on a gauze pad placed by the dentist to reduce bleeding and allow clotting.
Exhaustion/Sleepy – Tooth extraction procedures can be extremely taxing on the mind and body of your child, so they may experience symptoms of exhaustion, sleepiness, or tiredness. Your child should relax for at least 24 hours following the extraction with limited physical activity for the next couple days.

Prior to the procedure, talk to your Raleigh dentist about making a more detailed recovery plan tailored to your child’s specific needs. The road to recovery is just around the corner, and it can be made easier when you know what to expect!