Tooth extraction refers to the permanent removal of a tooth from its socket using forceps for surgery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American has lost approximately 12 teeth by age 50. There are many reasons why a Clermont family dentist may recommend tooth extractions, such as severe tooth decay, advanced gum disease, overcrowded teeth, impacted teeth, or a tooth that breaks at or near the gum line. If you need to have one or multiple teeth extracted, you may be wondering what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
Preparing for a Tooth Extraction
Even a simple tooth extraction requires some preparation. Your dentist will closely examine the affected tooth to determine if an infection is present. If an infection is discovered, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics prior to the extraction.
Tell your dentist if you suffer from any medical conditions, such as a congenital heart defect, liver disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, hypertension, rental disease, an impaired immune system, damaged heart valves, an artificial joint, adrenal disease, or a history of bacterial endocarditis.
Ideally, you should take off the day from school or work to allow for a comfortable recovery at home. Ask a friend or family member to drive you home after the procedure as you may be coming off of anesthesia or another medication.
During a Routine Tooth Extraction
Tooth extractions are relatively quick procedures that are now virtually painless due to advancements in technology. The extraction site is completely numbed using a local anesthesia to prevent pain; however, it is normal to feel pressure during the procedure.
Once the extraction site is numb, the dentist will use forceps and a dental elevator tool to loosen and lift the tooth. This often entails a gentle rocking motion that helps loosen the tooth from the ligaments and jaw bone that hold it in place. Particularly hard-to-pull teeth may need to be broken up and removed in pieces.
After removing the entire tooth, a blood clot will naturally form in the socket. The dentist will pack the empty socket with a gauze pad and have you bite down to help stop any bleeding. In some cases, self-dissolving stitches will be placed to close the extraction site and encourage a faster recovery.
If the blood clot fails, it could expose the bone in the socket. This painful condition is known as a dry socket. If this occurs, contact your dentist in Clermont for an appointment to have a sedative dressing applied to the socket until a new blood clot can form.
During a Surgical Tooth Extraction
In less common cases, a tooth may need to be removed surgically. Surgical tooth extraction is generally performed under intravenous (IV) and local anesthesia. In rare cases, a tooth extraction is performed under general anesthesia and the patient is unconscious during the procedure.
During a surgical tooth extraction, the dentist will create a small incision in the gum to cut around the tooth or remove some bone before the tooth can be removed. Surgical tooth extractions are often recommended for impacted wisdom teeth. These teeth are typically stuck in the jaw bone or under the gum.
Recovery After a Tooth Extraction
Following your tooth extraction, your Clermont dental office will send you home to recover. Most people recover from a standard tooth extraction in just a few days. In the meantime, you can take painkillers as prescribed and apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. These practices should all help minimize swelling.
Avoid spitting or rinsing forcefully for at least 24 hours after the extraction to prevent the blood clot from dislodging. Also, avoid drinking out of a straw for 24 hours and do not smoke as this can inhibit the healing process.
Eat soft foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, pudding, or soup for the first day after the extraction. When lying down, prop your head up as lying flat for an extended period of time can prolong bleeding. Continue to brush and floss normally but be sure to avoid the extraction site.
Contact Hancock Village Dental
Have more questions about your upcoming tooth extraction? Contact the friendly dental team at Hancock Village Dental.