Tooth Extraction: Procedure Preparation and Recovery Tips
Many teens and children have tooth extractions to remove wisdom teeth. However, you might need to undergo a tooth extraction during adulthood due to several reasons.
Tooth extraction involves removing one or more teeth from the jaw due to the following reasons:
- Excessive tooth decay
- Infected tooth
- Crowded teeth, especially during orthodontic treatments
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Injury or trauma on the surrounding bone
Additionally, people who are undergoing chemotherapy might require tooth extraction to remove any teeth that might be compromised, keeping your mouth healthy.
Your dentist or oral surgeon can carry out the teeth removal procedure in an outpatient set-up. However, the procedure can cause pain. Therefore, depending on the number of teeth that require removal, you might need local or general anesthesia to numb the sites of extraction or your whole body.
Removing visible teeth does not require much time. However, if you have impacted or broken teeth, you might need additional time since the procedure is more invasive.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Your dentist or oral surgeon can describe a tooth extraction as either simple or surgical. The dentist will recommend a type of tooth extraction, depending on the shape, size, location, and visibility.
A simple tooth removal procedure involves removing teeth that are visible above the gums and the dentist can extract them in one piece.
On the other hand, a surgical tooth removal procedure involves removing some gum tissue and bone. The dentist or oral surgeon might have to remove the teeth in pieces. When you have impacted wisdom teeth, you might need an oral surgery procedure since they are not visible over the gum tissue.
Preparing for a Tooth Extraction
Before a tooth extraction treatment, your dentist might examine your teeth and take dental x-rays. Your dentist can ask you about the underlying medical conditions you have and any medications you have been taking.
If you are about to be treated for another condition using intravenous bisphosphonate, you need to notify your dentist to avoid further complications. If so, the dentist will consider carrying out the tooth extraction before the other treatments to avoid bone death.
Before you undergo a tooth extraction, your dentist might want to make sure any other conditions you have are stable. Sometimes, the dentist will recommend you take antibiotics before carrying out the procedure.
If you are receiving intravenous anesthesia, you can consider wearing light clothes during the procedure. You can also avoid eating some hours before the tooth extraction procedure and avoid smoking beforehand. When you are receiving general anesthesia, it is advisable to arrange your transport home since you might be feeling drowsy even after the tooth extraction procedure.
What to Expect During the Tooth Extraction Procedure?
Tooth extraction procedures vary depending on the type.
Simple Tooth Extraction
If you are getting a simple tooth extraction, your dentist in Washington will start by administering local anesthesia. Next, the dentist will use an elevator to loosen the teeth and forceps to remove it.
Surgical Tooth Extraction
If you are undergoing a surgical tooth extraction, the dentist or surgeon might administer local or general anesthesia, depending on your health and time required to complete the procedure. The dentist will then make a small incision through your gum to expose the tooth. Finally, the dentist might cut the tooth and remove it piece by piece.
Recovery After a Tooth Extraction
Depending on how you take care of the socket left after the tooth extraction, the recovery period is up to a week.
To ensure fast recovery, you can consider the following:
- To reduce the swelling, apply an ice pack over the swollen area for 10 minutes repeatedly
- After your dentist places a gauze pad over the socket, bite it down to prevent bleeding
- Take all the prescribed medications, even the pain killers
- Rest for the first 24 hours and avoid jumping straight into your daily routines
- Do not use a straw when drinking to avoid dislodging the blood clot
- When sleeping, you can use pillows to prop your head
- Brush and floss your teeth as usual, but avoid the extraction site
- During the recovery period, eat soft foods and introduce hard foods afterward
If you experience any complications during the recovery period, you can contact us at Tacoma Family Dentistry & TMJ/Sleep Apnea Centre for professional assistance.