Pain after tooth taken out
Pain after tooth extraction
Having to go to your dentist to have your tooth extracted is usually the last attempt after other treatment methods have failed. The tooth extraction involves numbing the area up and removing every part of the tooth including all its roots. The reason for needing an extraction in the first place varies but can be if there is so much decay in your tooth that it is better that it comes out as the dentist cannot save it. Other reasons could be where a filling or a root canal procedure previously has failed or having an impacted wisdom tooth taken out. However, the most common reason for extractions in the UK are teeth taken out due to severe gum disease also known as periodontal disease.
Once you have had your tooth extracted, it is easy to think that that is the end of the story, however complications including pain and swelling can arise. Sometimes these problems are even worse than perhaps the original toothache that you had!
Did you give consent?
It is important that your dentist made you fully aware of the complications and risks involved in your tooth extraction beforehand. This process is called “obtaining consent” and you may even have had to sign a form before the extraction procedure. Part of this consent process also involves the dentist going through with you in detail any alternative treatments. For instance, were you explained that perhaps a root canal treatment could save your tooth/teeth or having periodontal treatment i.e. gum treatment.
In other words, was the tooth extraction really the last resort for this tooth or could you have kept it?
Now when we come onto the extraction appointment itself. The extraction should be carried out with certain due diligence and skill that you would expect of a professional dentist.
Once the extraction has been carried out, you should receive adequate detail on how to manage complications such as pain and swelling and what complications may arise and what to do when you get back home.
Pain and swelling after extractions.
An extraction is essentially a surgical procedure and therefore you should expect a certain amount of pain and swelling afterwards as a part of your body’s normal healing process. This however should be managed with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. In addition, rinsing out after 24-hours with salty mouthwashes will also accelerate the healing process and reduce pain/swelling. This initial healing process can take one, two, or three days, so during this time you should be able to manage the pain with over-the-counter medications or perhaps your dentist has written a prescription for you already. After the first day, mouthwashes will help around the socket areas.
However, there is a fairly common complication called a dry socket where after two or three days, the pain does not subside and actually increases in severity. A dry socket is a painful condition where the tooth socket is no longer covered in the blood clot because it has either become dislodged or did not form in the first place. This is the reason why a dentist would normally tell you not to smoke immediately after an extraction because if you have a cigarette, you are more likely to develop a dry socket which will impede the extraction healing process.
If a dry socket does indeed develop, you should go back to the dentist who will usually place a medicated and anaesthetic packing inside the socket so that the socket can start healing up again properly.
What should you do if you get bleeding from the tooth extraction when you get home?
You will most often be supplied with a cotton gauze pack which you are required to bite on firmly for several minutes in order to stop any bleeding when you get home. A tooth socket can start bleeding once the injection has worn off or you accidently disturb the socket. Biting on a cotton gauze pack or similar in most cases will stop bleeding but you may need to do this more than once. However if the bleeding is very profuse or does not stop at all, you should contact your dentist immediately. In these cases, sometimes it is necessary for the extraction socket wound to be closed with sutures or stitches.
Other complications or problems after a tooth extraction may involve damage to a nerve, leaving part of the root or roots behind, dislodging a root into your sinuses, a bad taste or smell afterwards and problems or damage to adjacent teeth.
Tooth extraction due to gum disease
The most common reason for needing a tooth extraction is where gum disease has caused your tooth or teeth to become infected and loose. In these cases, extraction may be the only solution. However, if you regularly go to your dentist, then it is the dental professional’s job to make sure that you do not loose any teeth through gum disease. This is one of the reasons why patients go to the dentist every 6-months as part of the screening process. If there are any teeth which are at risk from gum disease, your dentist can identify these issues and let you know and treat them. If you are going to the dentist regularly, and your dentist tells you that you need extractions due to gum disease, it could be that the gum disease has not been treated and therefore it could be as a result of dental negligence.
If gum disease also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease has been detected early, there are various treatments that you can be offered which will ensure that the disease does not progress and this will avoid extractions. Gum treatment is available whether you are a NHS patient or a private patient including dental plans such as Denplan or Sovereign Health. Many patients who come to us, realise too late that their tooth loss was unnecessary but also other teeth are also affected.
Are you experiencing severe prolonged pain after tooth extraction(s)?
Your dentist may be guilty of malpractice or dental negligence.
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