We are open - safety is our top priority!
Posted on: December 15, 2021
What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction
There are many people who fear having to see a dentist. The combination of factors like noisy tools, sharp objects, and the unknown make it difficult to see beyond that fear. If you’d like to reduce any fears you have about going to the dentist, gathering some knowledge about what to expect can help you to feel at ease.
Tooth extractions are a type of procedure that causes a lot of anxiety in our patients. Having a dentist in Sweetwater you can trust can help. In addition to that, knowing the costs involved, what to expect, how to prepare yourself and what the healing process will be like are all ways to ensure that you come into the process as calmly as possible.
Dentists will sometimes extract a tooth that is loose, damaged, or broken. The procedure itself is fairly simple. It involves the dentist loosening and removing the tooth from the socket that holds the tooth within the bone. Your dentist should help you to understand why you need the extraction performed, as well as give you the information that you need in order to feel less anxious about the procedure.
The process starts with an x-ray being taken of the tooth. This allows the dentist to determine how the tooth will be removed. At this time, you will give your dentist your medical history and a method of sedation will be chosen. The week before the procedure, you will need to talk to your dentist if you have any problems like nasal congestion, a cold, nausea or vomiting. These issues could lead to having to delay the extraction.
What to Expect Before Your Tooth Extraction
Your dentist in Sweetwater will need a list of supplements and medications you are taking. He or she should also be told about any medical conditions you have that can lead to a greater risk of infection. These conditions include:
- History of bacterial endocarditis
- Liver disease (cirrhosis)
- Congenital heart defect
- Damaged or man-made heart valves
- Impaired immune system
- Artificial joint, such as knee or hip replacement
There are two types of extraction procedures: surgical and simple. A surgical extraction is done with the tooth is hidden beneath the gum line. This requires a tiny incision to be made so the tooth can be removed. A simple extraction is done when the tooth is above the gum line. It requires the tooth to be loosened and gently pulled out.
Regardless of the type of extraction you need, you will be given a local anesthetic. Dentists may use an intravenous anesthetic for some surgical extractions. You won’t be able to feel any pain throughout your extraction. If you do, tell your dentist right away.
What to Expect After Your Tooth Extraction
Once the procedure is completed, your dentist in Sweetwater will have you bite down on a piece of gauze. This reduces bleeding and allows a blood clot to form at the empty socket. The dentist may choose to use self-dissolving stitches to close the site.
The below post-extraction guidelines will need to be followed once you get home:
- Rest for 24 hours.
- Bite the gauze for three hours, replacing it whenever necessary.
- Apply ice after your extraction. Apply it every 10 minutes.
- Don’t lay flat. Prop up your head with pillows.
- Don’t rinse, spit forcibly or use a straw for 24 hours.
- 24 hours after your procedure, rinse out your mouth with warm water and ½ a teaspoon of salt.
- Consume soft foods. You can eat solid foods once the site has healed.
- Don’t brush and floss around the empty socket.
- Take painkillers as directed by your dentist.
Typical symptoms after the procedure are minor to moderate pain, bleeding and swelling. Contact a dentist in Sweetwater if you have any of the symptoms below:
- Severe pain, bleeding or swelling
- Redness, excessive discharge or swelling
- Fever, chills or other symptoms of an infection
- Coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Uncontrolled bleeding, excessive pain, intense swelling, difficulty swallowing, fever, chills or redness should be reported to your dentist in Sweetwater immediately.
In the days after your procedure, you’ll need to eat cold and soft foods. You’ll be able to eat solid foods again once your mouth has healed. Avoid activities that could result in the blood clot pulling out of the socket. These activities include spitting, smoking and drinking from a straw.
Your mouth should heal within one to two weeks. You will be able to return to your normal activities once that has happened.
Are Wisdom Tooth Extractions Necessary?
Located at the back of the mouth, the wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that typically grow during early adulthood. While not strictly necessary, preventive wisdom tooth extraction has become common. Consult with a dentist in Sweetwater about whether the benefits, risks, cost and impact upon your quality of life makes this a necessary procedure for you to have done.
There are some people who never have issues with their wisdom teeth. Others don’t have them grow in at all. Another group of people develop issues with their wisdom teeth because they don’t have enough room in their mouth to contain the extra set of molars. This can lead to serious issues if left untreated. Wisdom tooth extraction is typically recommended for these people.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to preventive wisdom tooth extractions. The first is that it is an ideal way to prevent future problems from popping up. The second is that it is an unnecessary risk and expense to perform the procedure on someone who may not ever need to have it done. Receiving expert advice from a dentist in Sweetwater is your best of course of action when it comes to making a decision that is right for you.
The American Dental Association (ADA) believes that wisdom tooth extractions should be done in the below cases:
- Pain or discomfort
- Tumor or cyst development
- Development of gum disease
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Tooth decay
Typical reasons for removing wisdom teeth as a preventive measure include:
- Potential for disease or infection
- Preventing future issues from arising
- Patient’s age
To learn more about the pros and cons of having your wisdom teeth removed, talk to a dentist in Sweetwater.