Are you nervous for your due visit for a tooth extraction? There is something worrisome to think about having your tooth removed from its socket especially if it is your first time. Often it is not about the tooth being extracted, but the unknown procedure that makes it a bit scary. We know the tooth is coming out, but the unknown anticipation is what drives us a bit haywire.
Learning more about a tooth extraction and what to expect can help ease the nerves we might be feeling before going to our dentist. So what do we need to know?
What’s A Tooth Extraction?
As mentioned, it is when the tooth is removed from its socket. There are various reasons for tooth extraction, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a broken tooth to get it extracted. Some of the reasons your dentist might need to remove your tooth are
- It’s broken.
- It’s damaged beyond the repairs of a filling or crown.
- Baby teeth won’t fall out to make room for their permanent teeth.
- A loose tooth or extra teeth is blocking the way for incoming teeth.
- Some people who need braces might need to get tooth extractions to make room for the new placement of their teeth.
- There is a severe infection in the tooth.
- Third molars, known as your wisdom teeth, need extracting if they are damaging other teeth. Although it is known as wisdom teeth removal, they are still being removed.
Removing a tooth isn’t a standard treatment option, it is often the last option to be given. It’s not the treatment you come in for, but it is a procedure which can help prevent further complications to your dental health.
What To Expect
Knowing what is going on will help ease some of the nerves. Like most procedures, your dentist will evaluate your dental health before proceeding with treatment. There is a before, during, and after the treatment process we need to be aware.
Before your tooth extraction, your dentist will evaluate your dental health by taking an x-ray of the area to determine the best way of removing the tooth. During the preparation stage, you want to ensure your dentist is aware of medications that can interfere with the procedure and to present your history of medical health. Ensuring the safety of their patient is a top priority that is taken before proceeding to determine the best dental care they deserve. The preparation process can vary depending on whether it’s a tooth extraction or wisdom tooth extraction. It’s also the time to ask questions and discuss with your dentist some of the concerns you might be feeling about the procedure.
Again, this dependent on the extraction you are getting. But for the most part, the duration of the treatment is around 20 to 40 minutes to complete. Simple removals are quick and easy since the tooth is visible and are done using a local anesthetic via injection. Once the area has been numbed, the dentist can then proceed to pull the tooth out through by first loosening it and then taking it out completely.
Once it has been pulled out, your dentist will place a gauze over the extraction site for the next 30 to 45 minutes to limit bleeding and to help form a blood clot. The clot is a critical part of the healing process.
For surgical extractions, the procedure is different and is often done by an oral surgeon. It is a more complicated procedure which can require some bone to be removed to remove the tooth. During extractions like this, you can expect to receive local anesthesia and IV sedation.
For any of these procedures, you can experience pressure, however, if you are experiencing pain then let your dentist know.
The after process also known as the recovery process is essential to recover. After treatment, your dentist will go over how to care for the site after surgery and what you can expect which we have broken down.
- If there is still bleeding after removing the first gauze, fold a clean gauze and dampen it with warm water then, bite on it for 30 minutes.
- Try to keep your tongue from disturbing the site as well as avoid sucking on the site.
- You want to keep in mind our saliva can trick us into thinking there is a lot of blood, but if there is heavy bleeding call your dentist.
- The blood clot is a critical part of the healing process which is why you want to avoid disrupting the clot.
- Avoid doing strenuous activities after the extraction.
- Don’t drink from a straw or activities which cause suction in the mouth.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- If a blood clot does not form it is known as a dry socket, needs to be reported to your dentist as it can cause pain.
- You want to drink and eat nutritious foods. When you’re sick, the first thing your doctor recommends is to drink a lot of fluids, the same applies after having a tooth extraction.
- Avoid drinking liquids that are hot and contain alcohol.
- Try eating your foods on the opposite of the extraction side for the next couple days and when comfortable on chewing food on both sides.
Cleaning Your Mouth:
- The teeth next to the extraction area should not be clean until the next day; however, the rest of your teeth and mouth should still be brushed and flossed.
- The next day you want to gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water particularly after meals to ensure no food particles go in the site.
- Some dentist will provide medicines after the procedure to reduce the pain and inflammation and should only be used as directed. This does not mean if it does not work to take a higher dose of medication, on the contrary, you should stop taking it.
- If you find yourself having pain or swelling, you can use a cold compress or moist cloth to reduce the swelling and pain.
If you find that the pain or bleeding is continuous, contact your dentist immediately. The same goes for symptoms of fever, nausea, or vomit; you want immediately contact your dentist. Check to see if your dentist has contact information for an emergency, if not you might need to go to the emergency room.
If you need a tooth extraction, make an appointment with one of our dentists today by filling out our form or calling us at 801-747-8000.
American Dental Association – ADA Tooth Extraction
Colgate – Tooth Extraction