How to Prepare for Your Tooth Extraction?
You may fear to go to the dentist, especially when you are in pain. However, most dental procedures are performed with the patient’s health and comfort in mind. This article will give information on extractions and provide advice for how you can prepare for a tooth extraction.
Dental Office Visit
Most patients know that they need a tooth extracted when they feel pain in the area where the tooth is located. In such cases, chewing on the tooth may cause pain or discomfort. The best thing to do in such a case is to call a dentist for a consultation.
At the dentist’s office, be prepared for an oral exam and x-rays. Some dentists can look at a tooth and tell if it is infected based on the color or condition of the tooth. For instance, an abscessed tooth might have swelling around the gums at the sight of the tooth. A decayed tooth may be grey or black in color.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
There are many reasons a tooth might need to be extracted. A few of the most common reasons your dentist could give are listed below.
- In some cases, teeth might need to be removed in order to align or straighten the teeth for cosmetic dentistry procedures.
- Sometimes a patient suffers a traumatic accident like a car crash. In such a case, teeth might be removed, but only if they cannot be saved by some other means, such as a crown.
- One of the most common reasons to remove a tooth is decay. When decay reaches the tooth’s center, called the pulp, the decay can create an infection. In such a case, a root canal can help treat the infection. However, sometimes the infection is too severe, and the tooth must be removed to stop the infection from spreading.
- Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is another common problem. When a patient has advanced gum disease, he or she may notice that teeth will become looser or may start to break off. In such cases, some teeth may be damaged beyond repair and require extraction.
- In some cases, an impacted tooth may be blocked by a visible tooth. This often happens with wisdom teeth. In such a case, a dentist may recommend the removal of a wisdom tooth, especially when it may cause damage to another tooth or teeth.
How to Prepare for an Extraction
One thing you can do during the extraction process is to stay calm. When a patient is able to breathe through his or her nose and not move or shake, this makes dental procedures much easier. Other things you could do to prepare are as follows:
- Know the name and location of your preferred pharmacy. This may be important if the dentist needs to prescribe pain relievers or antibiotics.
- Bring your dental insurance policy information to the office visit. This helps the office workers know who to contact to file your dental insurance claim.
- If you don’t have dental insurance, search for a low-cost dentist or clinic on the internet.
- Bring a friend or relative to drive you home, especially if you are having a wisdom tooth extraction or oral surgery.
Simple Extraction vs. Surgical Extraction
A simple extraction is a procedure typically performed on a tooth that is visible in the mouth. When a patient gets a simple extraction, the dentist typically uses local anesthesia, which means the patient is awake during the procedure. The dentist will give the patient a shot or two to numb the gums around the tooth.
A surgical extraction involves putting the patient under general anesthesia. The patient is typically unconscious when this procedure is performed. A surgical extraction is performed when a tooth is impacted or otherwise difficult for the surgeon to access it. For instance, impacted wisdom teeth are typically removed surgically. While the patient is anesthetized, the surgeon cuts the tooth from the gums.
In general, most dentists will opt to “save” a tooth rather than remove it. For instance, you might need a root canal and a crown in order to save a tooth that is damaged or cracked.
However, in some cases, a tooth is damaged beyond repair, and the tooth needs to be extracted to improve a patient’s oral health.
Each patient’s case is different. A dentist in Scottsdale will be able to evaluate what sort of treatment you need and will discuss your options on a case-by-case basis.
After an extraction, the dentist will give you a set of aftercare instructions. Follow the instructions carefully to prevent infection and to help ensure your gums heal properly. Be prepared to do the following after an extraction:
- Don’t eat immediately after an extraction. Wait a few hours. If you can, eat before you go in for the procedure; this will prevent you from being hungry after having the tooth taken out.
- Rinse with warm salt water several times a day for the next few days.
- If prescribed medicines by your dentist, take all of them on time and as directed.
- If you had your tooth surgically removed, use a cold ice pack on the side of your face for pain.
- Ask your dentist to recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Don’t poke your finger or anything else into the gap created by the missing tooth. Doing so may irritate your gums.
- Expect some slight pain or soreness after the anesthesia has worn off.
In most cases, tooth extraction is a simple dental procedure. Prepare by gathering your dental insurance information, making an appointment with your dentist, and trying your best to relax during the procedure. Anesthesia will be used to make you as comfortable as possible. If you have any excessive pain after your tooth extraction, contact your family dentist for further instructions.