Tooth Extraction: Preparation, Process, and Recovery
Once the permanent teeth emerge (from age seven) they are designed to last for a lifetime or at least give support throughout your adult years. However, because of several factors, most of us don’t get to their old age with a full set of teeth. Situations such as infection, decay, and accidents can cause the loss of teeth.
Although the tooth extraction is commonly done, we only perform it when the teeth are considered irreparable. Our goal is to preserve your natural teeth and support your teeth. But, some situations leave the dentist with no choice but to remove the teeth.
When is Tooth Extraction Recommended?
Impacted wisdom teeth are the primary reason for extraction. However, other factors can lead to teeth pulling:
- Dental overcrowding. Sometimes, the dentist may pull your teeth in preparation for orthodontia—the process of aligning your teeth.
- Infection and tooth decay. When you have mild to moderate dental decay, a root canal procedure is the recommended treatment. However, if the decay extends to the pulp and the surrounding tissues, tooth extraction is done to stop the spread and preserve the rest of the teeth.
- Risk of infection. If you have a compromised immune system and you are at risk of dental infection, the dentist will remove the affected teeth to preserve your health.
How to Prepare for the Extraction?
Teeth extraction is safe. However, the risk of a bacterial infection is still high. It is, therefore, important to inform the dentist if you have any pre-existing problems that may put you at risk of getting an infection such as liver disease and impaired immune system. Plus, provide the dentist with a list of medications and supplements you are currently taking.
The dentist may prescribe antibiotics before the procedure and after to prevent a bacterial infection.
What Does the Extraction Procedure Involve?
The procedure is done depending on the type of extraction you need. The dentist can perform either simple or surgical extraction.
A simple extraction is done on the visible teeth, while the surgical procedure is for teeth that lie beneath the gums such as impacted wisdom teeth.
- Step one
The dentist anesthetizes the teeth, gum, and jaw, regardless of the type of extraction. However, for surgical one, you may get an IV sedation that relaxes you and make the procedure comfortable. IV sedation does not cause unconsciousness, but you will not have a recollection of the procedure.
- Step two
The teeth are pulled from the socket. If the teeth are visible, the dentist will only use forceps to loosen and pull the teeth. Dental elevators are also used to separate the affected teeth from the bone.
Although anesthesia numbs the nerves, it does not protect against pressure and sensitivity.
- Step three
The socket is closed or stitched to facilitate healing.
How Long Does Tooth Extraction Recovery Take?
It takes a few days to recover from an extraction. However, your post-extraction care practices will affect healing time.
- Apply an ice pack for ten minutes to reduce swelling
- Bite a gauze pad for three to four hours to control bleeding
- Take pain relievers and medication prescribed by the dentist
- Minimize activity and rest for 24 hours after the procedure
- Don’t drink using a straw to avoid breaking the blood clot. The clot is important to the healing process and breaking it will expose the socket, cause pain, and affect the healing process.
- Keep your head elevated with pillows to reduce bleeding and pain
- Eat soft foods for the first two days
Are There Risks Involved?
There are a few risks involved with teeth extraction such as:
- Bleeding for more than 12 hours
- Nausea, vomiting, cough
- Chills, chest pain, and shortness of breath
Contact our dentist immediately you experience these symptoms.
Make an Appointment
At Webber Comprehensive Dentistry we do tooth extraction only when necessary. Make an appointment for an assessment and the dentist will examine your dental health and recommend a suitable treatment. If extraction is inevitable, we will make the procedure pain-free and comfortable.