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Posted on: December 29, 2021
What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction
If you asked everyone you knew how they would like to spend an afternoon, most likely no one would answer by saying they want to get a tooth pulled. Nevertheless, a tooth extraction is sometimes necessary for your dental health. A dentist won’t suggest an extraction unless there is no other way to save the tooth. There are exceptions, such as when your mouth is overcrowded or you need to make space for orthodontic devices, but the main reason dentists recommend extractions is because of severe damage to the the tooth from decay or an injury.
It is important to note that most dentists will do everything they can to avoid pulling a permanent tooth. For example, if you have a severely decayed tooth, the dentist will most likely suggest a root canal and crown to fix the problem. If this proves ineffective or the tooth is too badly decayed to perform the root canal, your dentist will then suggest pulling the tooth. A tooth extraction is a last resort and your dentist will often discuss the pros and cons with you before moving forward.
There are other situations when you may need to have teeth extracted for dental or orthodontic devices to be placed. For instance, many people need to have teeth pulled before getting full dentures. Some may need to have wisdom teeth or other teeth pulled before getting braces to correct severe issues. And, while the reasons for getting an extraction can vary, it is always important to find a dentist that you trust to perform the extraction. If you have any misgivings be sure to get a second opinion before going through with the procedure.
If you’re worried about an extraction, you can rest assured that it will not hurt. You may feel some pressure, but there should not be much pain. If the tooth is visible in your mouth, a dentist in New Lenox can perform a simple extraction. The process is quite simple; you receive a local anesthetic and the dentist loosens the tooth and pulls in out with dental forceps. If a dentist can’t grasp the tooth, you will need a surgical extraction. It’s called surgery because your dental practitioner will have to make a small cut in the gum. You may receive IV sedation, along with a local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable for you.
Ask your dentist about the type of tooth extraction you’ll have, the associated costs and what recovery will be like and you’ll feel much better about the procedure. With enough knowledge, you’ll understand there is nothing to fear.
What Will Happen Before My Extraction?
First, your dentist will examine your tooth and take an x-ray to plan your extraction. You’ll have all your questions answered about the procedure and the aftercare instructions. At this time it is important to be sure you understand how to care for your mouth post-procedure to avoid missing anything after your tooth extraction when you may be under the effects of anesthesia. Your dentist will ask you about any medications you take, including any over-the-counter products, like aspirin, vitamins and supplements.
You’ll have to provide a complete medical history to ensure that you do not have any existing conditions that may impact your body’s ability to heal properly. Pre-existing conditions can be impacted by surgery or medications prescribed after surgery so it’s important that your dentist has all of your relevant medical information. Your dentist will look for:
- A compromised immune system
- Congenital heart defects
- A history of bacterial endocarditis (an infection)
- Mechanical heart valves
- Artificial joints
- Liver diseases
What to Do Following Having Your Tooth Pulled
You will have some minor swelling, pain and residual bleeding after having a tooth pulled. With a simple extraction, take it easy for the rest of the day. Plan your extraction so you can rest for 24 hours afterward, keeping your head elevated to stop any bleeding. Use ice packs and pain relievers as directed by your dentist. Frozen peas will also work as an ice pack.
As a normal part of the healing process, a clot will form in the socket. It’s vital you don’t do anything to disturb the clot. This includes:
- Drinking through a straw
- Rinsing vigorously
- Drinking alcohol
You can eat food in about 12 hours, but limit yourself to soft, nutritious foods. Try to eat and drinks anything very hot or very cold. Good choices include mashed potatoes, applesauce and yogurt. A lot of patients like smoothies for the nutrition they offer, but remember not to use a straw.
Most extractions go smoothly when you follow the aftercare instructions. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, please contact your dental office immediately:
- A fever
- Abnormal bleeding
- Extreme swelling
- Intense pain
A fever or chills can indicate an infection. If you have an almost unbearable pain that the pain relievers your dentist can’t touch it, you could have dislodged the clot.
Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Pulled?
Wisdom teeth are third molars that can appear in the back of the mouth when people reach the age if wisdom; usually late teens or early 20s. Since many individuals don’t have room in their jaws for four extra molars, many dental practitioners recommend early extractions. If it appears from x-rays that the teeth won’t be able to emerge at all or only partially emerge because they are at an awkward angle, the procedure can head off pain and infections. Wisdom teeth are easier to extract in young patients who have roots and jaws that are not fully formed yet.
Everyone does not have to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Some people don’t have any wisdom teeth and others have teeth that grow in straight with no problems. As long as you have room to brush and floss them, they shouldn’t cause any problems. Talk to your dental care professional in New Lenox about the advantages and disadvantages of wisdom teeth removal in the absence of problems.