A dental extraction is the removal of teeth from the socket in the alveolar bone. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, but most commonly to remove teeth which can no longer be restored due to tooth decay, periodontal disease, dental trauma or orthodontic needs.
After an extraction, it is most important to stop the bleeding. The most effective recommendation is positive pressure. This can be accomplished by having the child bite tightly on a piece of cotton gauze for 15-30 minutes. If your child is too young to do this, hold the gauze tightly against the extraction site with your finger for the same length of time. Even after long pressure, the extraction site may bleed slightly for several hours and may even stop and start again. Further pressure will usually solve the problem.
Normally, only slight discomfort will be experienced after an extraction unless the child bites the tongue or cheek while numb. If pain is present, we recommend Tylenol or Motrin in the appropriate dose for the size of your child rather than aspirin. If the pain is severe, call the office for guidance.
Avoid straws and any sucking action on the first day. Crunchy foods (peanuts, pretzels, potato chips, etc.) should be avoided for the first day or two. Warm salt water rinses, 3 to 4 times a day, are encouraged to help healing on the first day after the extraction.