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Posted on: December 29, 2021
What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction
If your dentist says you need a tooth pulled, don’t be afraid. The procedure may have a bad reputation, but only among people who have never had an extraction. An experienced, skilled dentist in Dunwoody can have a tooth which needs a simple extraction out in two or three minutes. You shouldn’t feel any pain, only some pressure. You have nothing to fear.
It is very important to keep your natural teeth as long as possible. Missing teeth can lead to problems with eating and speaking, as well as changing your jaw structure so you appear older. Replacing a missing tooth is relatively expensive compared to preserving a tooth with a root canal and crown. However, sometimes a tooth is so infected, damaged, or decayed that there is no way to save it. Sometimes, a patient will have overcrowding issues, so an extraction is the only option. Other times, patients can’t afford tooth restorations, so they opt for an extraction. A caring, affordable dentist in Dunwoody will work with you to find the best solution in your situation.
Knowing what will happen before, during, and after an extraction will go a long way to ease your apprehension. Caring dentists will answer all your questions beforehand, so you won’t encounter any surprises. Actually, a simple extraction is a very basic procedure that normally only takes a few minutes. Your dentist will numb the area, loosen the tooth and then extract it. You shouldn’t feel any pain, but you will feel pressure as he or she rocks the tooth back-and-forth to loosen it. You’ll be surprised the tooth is removed so quickly.
Teeth that are trapped under the gum and can’t emerge are called impacted teeth. A dentist must perform a surgical extraction. They will make a small incision in the gum and remove the tooth. This is common in wisdom teeth extractions. Besides a local anesthetic, you may also receive IV sedation or a pill to help you relax that you take about an hour before the procedure begins.
What Will My Dentist Ask Me Before an Extraction?
Your dentist will need a thorough medical and dental history, besides asking you about all the medications you take. This includes not only prescription medications, but OTC drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
It’s important to let your dentist know about certain medical conditions you have, including, but not limited to:
- Bacterial endocarditis
- Congenital heart defects
- Man-made heart valves
- An impaired immune system
- Liver disease
- Blood clotting problems
During an extraction, there is a small chance bacteria can enter your bloodstream. For patients with certain medical conditions that present a higher risk of infection, a dentist may suggest a pre-extraction course of antibiotics.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After the procedure, your dentist will place a gauze pad over the extraction site and ask you to bite down very gently. You may experience slight bleeding for a few hours. If you find you need another gauze pad, you can change it, moistening the gauze pad first. You may also have swelling; your dentist will give you instructions for applying an ice pack. Once your anesthesia wears off, expect minor pain. You can use OTS pain relievers to help manage the pain.
In the first 24 hours, a blood clot will form at the extraction site. It’s vital to follow your dentist’s instructions exactly to avoid disturbing the clot. Typically, these include:
- Rest for 24 hours after the procedure. Avoid any vigorous activity.
- If you lie down, keep your head elevated. This helps slow the bleeding.
- Do not smoke. spit or drink through a straw. The suction can dislodge the clot.
- Do not brush the site for 24 hours. Once you begin, avoid the extraction site until it heals.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Rinse with warm salt water as directed.
- Eat only soft foods for three or four days. Avoid chewing on the side where the extraction occurred.
If you experience excessive swelling, bleeding, or pain after your extraction, you should call your dentist right away. A little pain is normal, but if the pain is unbearable, you may have dislodged the blood clot. A little bleeding is normal too, but heavy bleeding the next day isn’t normal. You should also call your dentist if you’re fevered, have chills, or see whitish pus coming from the extraction site.
Your extraction site should heal within seven to 10 days. The larger the tooth you have extracted, the longer healing will take.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Extractions So Common?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth people usually get in their mouth. Wisdom teeth usually emerge, or try to emerge when people are in their late teens or early 20s. Some individuals don’t have any wisdom teeth to worry about, but many others have problems because their jaws are too small to accommodate them. A few lucky individuals have wisdom teeth that come in straight and don’t cause any problems. As long as it is easy for you to brush and floss around them, there is no need to extract them.
If your wisdom are partially or fully emerged, your dentist can usually pull them in their office. While some people have the room to house the extra molars in their mouth, most do not. Centuries ago, our ancestors needed extra molars to chew raw food, but today, we don’t need them anymore. If there is no room for the four wisdom teeth to emerge fully, problems can develop, including damage to nearby teeth, decay since you can’t floss or brush them properly, or infections.
Some dentists suggest surgical extractions for wisdom teeth. A surgical extraction is where there is an incision in the gum to access a tooth that is impacted or not emerged yet. Your dentist may suggest this if he or she suspects potential problems based on what your x-rays show. There is less chance of complications when surgical wisdom teeth extractions are performed when you’re young. You shouldn’t feel any pain as you will most likely be given local, IV or general anesthesia.
Talk to an affordable dentist in [GEOID about the advantages and disadvantages of having your wisdom teeth removed if they are not causing you any problems.