What Exactly is "E-Day" and What Should One Expect?
A recent visit to the dentist and you are told it's time to have complete tooth extractions for dentures. You leave the dentist office feeling overwhelmed along with all sorts of other emotions, but once things begin to sink in you go home and start googling and looking at social media. As you begin to research, you may have come across the word "e-day". So exactly what does that mean? E-Day is short for extraction day or the day you get all of your teeth removed.
Not sure what to expect when having multiple teeth extracted? Let's go over some key points for this process. First of all if you are at this point, you probably have serious dental problems like extensive decay and infection, possibly even some pain. Your dentist may have given you prescription medications for an antibiotic at your visit. If you were given an antibiotic, it's very important that you take all of your medication. Treating any infection you have before your teeth are pulled is vital to your health.
Next your dentist may have given you a treatment plan and appointment for your tooth extractions and placement of immediate dentures after tooth extraction. The next step would be to have impressions taken of your current teeth. Impressions are done so the dental lab can make you a set of immediate dentures to wear after your teeth are removed.
Surgery to remove all of your teeth is usually a simple procedure done in one visit. Often there are several options given for anesthesia, most commonly oral sedation or a pill you will take prior to your procedure. Occasionally gas or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be offered to help reduce anxiety, and in some cases mild IV sedation or even IV anesthesia may be used.
How Do You Prepare For "E-Day"?
In preparation for "e-day", if you work, you are going to want to start by talking to your employer about taking some time off work. If you work in an office, 3 to 5 days is usually a sufficient amount of time to request off. A more physically demanding job may require up to 10 days off before you can return. (Your dentist should give you instructions prior to your surgery and at your follow up appointment).
Some other things you'll want to do/have in order to be prepared for your upcoming surgery will be:
Get all prescriptions filled and make sure you have medications for adequate pain control
Stock your pantry/kitchen with plenty of soft foods
Get several cold packs and go ahead and freeze them
Get some extra gauze, regular kitchen salt, alcohol-free mouthwash, a new extra soft toothbrush, a denture brush, denture cup, denture cleaning tablets or a denture soaking solution, a denture and mouth cleaning paste, and some Cushion Grip Thermoplastic Denture Adhesive (All of these things are crucial for your first day with immediate dentures and for help adjusting to dentures)
Have someone available to drive you to and from your appointment
Healing and Recovery After E-Day
The recovery time for multiple tooth extractions is the same as for a single tooth. It usually takes between 7 and 10 days before you can return to your normal activities. If you have any impacted teeth like wisdom teeth you should expect 2 weeks of healing or maybe even longer before you can resume normal activity.
You may have some bruising and swelling for a few days after extractions as well. Usually any swelling that occurs will start around the 3rd day after your e-day. It takes time for the body to recognize the trauma that has just occurred from multiple extractions. Swelling can be remedied by applying a cold pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the face.
One other important thing to note. You will most likely leave the dentist office with your immediate dentures in place after your extractions. For the first 24 hours, keeping your immediate dentures in is vital for stopping any bleeding and promoting healing. On the 2nd and 3rd days following surgery you will want to get comfortable inserting and removing the denture. Most dentists recommend removing them 3 times a day to rinse them off. Also, use this time to swish your gums and mouth well with warm salt water and then put your dentures right back in your mouth. Leaving your immediate dentures out for an extended period right after surgery could result in you not being able to get them back in due to swelling.
Rest and limit physical activity after all of your teeth have been removed. Blood clots will form in the tooth sockets, and you want those to stay in place. If a blood clot dislodges or falls out you can get a very painful dry socket. If you develop a fever or severe pain several days after your extractions, call your dentist immediately.
Managing Pain After Tooth Extraction
Everyone handles pain differently, so pain management after tooth extractions differs depending on the individual. However, the most common ways to manage the pain are:
Prescription and OTC pain medications. Over-the-counter NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and naproxen work great. These medications help reduce inflammation which helps to alleviate the pain. Tylenol is also a great drug for pain after extractions. A lot of people find that alternating 800 mg of ibuprofen with 1000 mg of Tylenol is usually sufficient for managing the pain following full mouth extractions. However, it's not uncommon for some people to need stronger pain meds (like narcotic pain medication) prescribed by their dentist, and that's okay.
Applying ice can also be effective in reducing pain because it also helps to reduce inflammation and numbs the affected area. (Be sure to place a towel between the ice pack and your skin to protect the area.)
Warm salt water rinses are amazing for helping to reduce pain and discomfort in the mouth and around the gums. It also helps to promote healing,
Rest. Getting rest is vital during this process when it comes to managing pain, healing, and your recovery.