By Susan Braden
Many people think that a root canal is the most traumatic oral procedure, but some patients would argue otherwise. Even with a cheap dental plan to reduce the cost, extractions are hard on the patient who is left with no tooth. The pain from the rotting tooth may have subsided with the removal, but the recovery process typically takes some effort.
Sit still for a while before leaving the office to ensure that a blood clot forms in the gap. If the clot does not form, the recovery process will be more painful and extensive than normal because the space will be exposed. The protective blood clot is a necessary part of the recovery process, and it may require anywhere from 10-30 minutes to form. Moving around before it has fully developed could cause the blood to flow rather than clot in the wounded area. Most dentists will give the patient some gauze to bite as well, and patients should ask for extra to use later that day at home. The pressure helps stop the flow and soaks up any excess blood. If the patient has a cheap dental plan and recovers swiftly, the procedure can remain low-cost.
The blood clot will be delicate for the next several hours, so the patient should refrain from any strenuous activity and avoid sucking or spitting. The wound will bleed for several hours regardless of the clot, so the patient should apply more gauze or a paper towel if necessary. If the patient notices small dark clots in the towel, however, he or she should apply pressure for 45 minutes and see a dentist if it persists. Medicines such as Tylenol or ibuprofen generally remedy the pain from a simple extraction.
Surgery complicates the process somewhat, so patients should plan on a little extra recovery time. In addition to the above suggestions, patients should keep the head elevated at night to prevent excess swelling. The wound reaches its swelling peak during the second day, so if the inflamed tissue does not minimize after that, the dentist should be informed. Ice packs can help reduce swelling during the first two days. Patients should keep the surgical area clean by brushing near the area and gargling with a warm, gentle salt water solution. The tender area will be especially susceptible to infection, and food particles prevent proper healing as well. Dentists recommend eating soft foods like pudding and broth to prevent unnecessary pain. Patients should ease slowly into more solid food only as they feel comfortable. Stronger pain medication is often prescribed in these situations.
Though a tooth extraction can be an ordeal, the recovery process can be quick and simple if the patient follows a few helpful guidelines. With cheap dental coverage and no added post-surgical costs, patients can be on the road to recovery and get back to enjoying life as soon as possible.