What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction
If you have an upcoming tooth extraction appointment, it’s normal to feel a little nervous. Wisdom tooth removal and other tooth extractions may seem like an intimidating procedure, but at Lifetime Family Dental, we aim to ease your nerves by answering any questions you may have before your extraction. Read on to learn more about the reasons for tooth extractions and what to expect during removal, aftercare, and more.
Reasons Why You Might Need a Tooth Extraction
At Lifetime Family Dental, we can repair most dental issues with fillings, crowns, implants, and other treatments. However, if the damage is beyond repair or if a tooth is impacted, you may need a tooth extraction in order to protect the rest of your teeth.
Reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Trauma or injury to the tooth
- Infection or tooth decay that has spread too deep
- Wisdom teeth begin crowding other teeth
- Orthodontic extraction to allow for better tooth development or alignment
- Preparing the mouth for full or partial dentures
How Is a Tooth Extracted?
Extracting a tooth is a quick and painless process. There are two types of extraction methods—whether the affected tooth is visible or not will determine which process is right for you.
Removing a tooth that is visible inside your mouth requires a simple extraction. Before this procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with a local anesthetic. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Once the area is completely numb, your dentist will loosen the tooth by moving it back and forth and using specific instruments, then carefully remove the tooth.
When a tooth does not appear in the mouth or has broken off at the gum line, an oral surgeon can perform a surgical extraction. A surgical extraction involves making a small cut along your gum to access the tooth. If the oral surgeon cannot remove the tooth whole, they will break it up and remove it piece by piece. Because of the complexity of this procedure, you may need a general anesthetic. You will not be awake during the procedure, but your vital signs will be monitored constantly.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Does Tooth Extraction Hurt?
Due to the local or general anesthesia, you shouldn’t feel any pain during tooth extraction. You might feel slight pressure, but you won’t feel any pain until the anesthetic wears off and leaves your system. Your dentist will recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever or prescribe a stronger medication to help you manage your pain over the next couple of weeks while your mouth heals.
Tooth Extraction Recovery
After an extraction procedure, it is extremely important to keep the extraction site clean so you can prevent infection. Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions and avoid smoking, rinsing your mouth, and brushing your teeth for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
Do not use a straw for at least two weeks after your procedure to prevent dislodging the blood clot that your mouth uses to heal the area. Losing the blood clot in the extraction site can result in a painful dry socket.
Take care of yourself after tooth extraction and other oral surgeries by:
- Applying an ice pack to reduce swelling
- Limiting physical activity
- Eating a soft food diet
- Avoiding hot foods and liquids
- Drinking plenty of fluids
Gentle Dentistry in Gilbert, AZ
No matter what the reasons for your tooth extraction are, putting off the procedure only puts your oral health at risk. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we provide gentle dental services and it is very important to us that you feel as comfortable as possible with every necessary procedure. Contact us today with all your tooth extraction questions and concerns—we will set your mind at ease.