Preparing for Multiple Extractions
In some cases, advanced gum disease and severe tooth decay may compromise multiple teeth. While the best scenario is to restore or repair damaged teeth, sometimes teeth cannot be restored or repaired and they’ll have to be extracted. After the extraction, then your dentist can help you decide of dental implants, partials, or dentures are the right option for you. If you’re going to have multiple extractions at one time, it’s important to prepare for them to make sure you make the recovery process as easy and speedy as possible.
Discussing Medical Conditions and Medications
Before any extraction, and especially before you have multiple extractions, it’s essential to talk to your dentist about any medical conditions you have and any medications you’re taking. You’ll also need to talk to your dentist about any over the counter and herbal supplements that you’re taking. Certain medications and supplements can affect the clotting process or cause other issues, so discussing this information is important to prevent potential complications when you have the extractions.
When discussing multiple extractions with your dentist, you’ll also want to talk about the procedure. Many patients prefer to be sedated, particularly when multiple teeth are being extracted at one time. Some of the potential sedation options that may be available to you include oral sedatives, nitrous oxide, and intravenous sedatives. Remember, if you go with intravenous or oral sedation, you’ll need to have someone on hand to drive you home after the extractions.
Plan for Recovery
If you’re having multiple extractions, it’s a good idea to make some plans for your recovery in advance. When teeth need to be cut out, you may need a couple days or more off work after the surgery is performed. Talk to your dentist about how much time you may need to have off work. Then, make sure you talk to your employer about the time off. Returning to work too soon could delay recovery. You’ll also want to take some time off fitness classes, sporting events, and social engagements during your recovery time, since you probably will be on fluids and dealing with some pain after the extractions.
Since you will need to be on fluids and then soft foods after your extractions, you’ll want to plan ahead to make sure you have the appropriate foods on hand. Usually you’ll be instructed to stick with a fluid diet for about 36 hours, which includes foods like juices, Jell-O, and clear soups. Next, you can progress to eating soft foods, such as pudding, milk shakes, ice cream, puree soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, or soft scrambled eggs. Make sure you avoid eating seeds, sharp foods, nuts, and acidic foods for about a week and drink plenty of water.
Understanding Post Extraction Instructions
When preparing for multiple extractions, it’s important to understand your post extraction instructions before the procedure so you’re prepared. Immediately after your extractions, you’ll need to:
- Keep your gauze pad on the area in place for 30 minutes
- Avoid touching the wound or rinsing the mouth vigorously after surgery
- Take any pain medications as soon as you feel discomfort to keep the pain from getting too bad
- Be sure to restrict activities on the day of the extractions
- You can place ice packs on the sides of the face where the extractions were performed to help reduce swelling
Understand that some redness and bleeding in your saliva is normal for about 24 hours. However, to prevent problems with bleeding you need to avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, sucking on straws, spitting, or vigorously rinsing for 72 hours to avoid dislodging the clots at the extraction sites. The first two days are usually the worst for bleeding, swelling, and pain, but most patients begin to see drastic improvement on the third day. If you don’t see regular improvement, especially by the third day, be sure to call your dentist.
Smoking can significantly increase recovery times after multiple extractions, and it’s recommended that you stop smoking before you have the extractions and continue to avoid tobacco for at least four weeks post-surgery. The toxic chemicals and heat from cigarette smoke increasing your risk of dry socket and infection while increasing healing times. If you need help quitting before your extraction, your dentist can help you with smoking cessation before you have the extractions.