Depending on where the tooth is positioned and depending on the patient, sometimes it’s important to place a bone grafting within the socket of the tooth, after a tooth is pulled. And, again, that’s to help decrease the amount of shrinkage that occurs because as the socket heals the bone kind of fills in on itself because now you don’t have a tooth that’s holding that space anymore. So in the very least place some sutures, or some stitches, to re-approximate the tissue over top of the socket to decrease the likelihood of any sort of food packing in there.
But as far as postoperative care goes certainly pain killers are often prescribed, again depending on the case, in a lot of cases antibiotics are also prescribed and then as far as the patient goes it’s really important for them to follow their postoperative instructions to a T. And the postoperative instructions are always given to them on a written piece of paper and myself or my assistant will go over the patient’s instructions as well verbally, so that they understand how important it is to follow them to decrease the likelihood for pain and increase the time for healing.
Often ice packs on the outside of the face depending on the side of which the tooth was extracted to decrease the likelihood of any swelling or bruising. And rinsing with saltwater rinses in the area very gently. Avoiding for the first couple days, sucking through a straw or spitting or smoking cigarettes, anything that’s going to create negative pressure in the mouth will potentially dislodge the clot. And the clot is critical to start the healing process, obviously.
If the clot is dislodged then quite often the patient will develop a condition called dry socket. And dry socket is not fun, it’s not something you want. More times than not it’s more excruciating than the actual pain that the patient presented with initially. So it’s really important that they take these things seriously so that they avoid any sort of situation like that.
And then just, in a lot of cases, sticking to a soft diet and avoiding things like rice, things that are little particles that can potentially get down into the socket and irritate or get lodged down in there and cause more problems. So, again, following the postoperative care instructions is really critical to the success or at least to the length of pain and the degree of pain for the patient. Are you there?