Hearing that you have to have a tooth extracted can be scary. It is totally understandable if you have some fears or anxiety. A tooth extraction is a last resort for damaged teeth. Typically, your dentist will try to save your natural teeth if it is possible. Unfortunately, that can’t happen every time.
If you have to have a tooth extracted, don’t worry! You are in good hands. It is a standard, routine procedure. Your dental professional team will ensure that you are comfortable and treated with care. It may help reduce your anxiety if you know what to expect during your procedure.
Why Do I Need A Tooth Extraction?
A dentist typically uses a tooth extraction as a last option if they cannot save your tooth. Usually, your dentist will try several restorative methods, such as fillings or crowns, before they recommend an extraction.
If you experience trauma to the face, you can potentially fracture or break a tooth, which may need extraction. In addition, severe tooth decay or gum disease may require a tooth (or teeth) to be pulled. Also, if your mouth is too crowded, your dentist may need to extract a tooth to prevent additional issues.
What is the Process?
Before you begin the extraction process, your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth to create a treatment plan. It will allow them to determine the damage entirely. Then, they will go over your sedation options for your procedure. Choosing sedation—nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, or intravenous (IV) sedation can help reduce your anxiety.
First, your dentist will numb the area so that you will not feel any pain. Once you are free of feeling, your dentist will move to remove the tooth. Using special tools, your dentist will remove the tooth from its socket. Depending on the damage, you may need incisions so that your dentist can access the tooth. After your dentist has removed your tooth, they will clean the area to prevent infection. You may require a bone graft in order to strengthen the jawbone. Finally, your dentist will stitch the area.
What is Recovery Like?
After your procedure, you will have gauze over the incision site. Your dentist will instruct you to keep pressure on the area in order to slow or stop the bleeding. You will be back to your normal activities in about 48-72 hours. However, it can take several weeks for your jawbone to actually heal.
For the first few days after your surgery, you should avoid any hard or crunchy foods. Not only can this cause you pain, but it can also damage the incision site. Additionally, you need to avoid sucking through a straw because you can develop a condition known as a “dry socket.”
Until it is fully healed, keeping the surgery site clean is imperative. Also, you must take the medications prescribed by your dentist as they have directed. Reducing inflammation and avoiding infections are necessary parts of recovery. Therefore, you should take antibiotics and pain relievers as directed.