Several factors are involved with maximizing your oral health, including making sure that all the teeth in your mouth are healthy and whole. What happens when you visit your dentist and learn that you require a tooth extraction? Read on to learn exactly what a tooth extraction is, and the reasons why you may need one.
What Is Tooth Extraction?
Simply put, a tooth extraction involves the removal of teeth that are doing more harm to your overall oral health than good. Reasons that you may need to have certain teeth removed include:
• Infected or decayed tooth/teeth
• Extra teeth that are blocking other teeth from coming in
• Needing to make room for teeth that need to be removed before you get braces
• Standard wisdom tooth removal procedure
There are also instances in which a person requires an extraction after an organ transplant. The reason being that transplant organ recipients have to take medication that lowers their immune system, which can increase the chances of their teeth becoming infected. The same applies to some cancer patients who are on prescription medication that can weaken their body’s ability to fight off an infection.
Why Is Tooth Extraction Important?
If a tooth isn’t extracted, there’s a chance that any decay or infection it has can spread to the rest of the mouth and impact other teeth. Should this happen, you may need to have multiple teeth extracted to rid your mouth of the infection or decay. Additional procedures could also prove necessary, which can increase the overall cost and length of care. Do yourself a favor and receive professional Peoria dental care if you suspect that your teeth may be infected, starting to decay or otherwise unhealthy.
How Do You Prepare for a Tooth Extraction?
To determine whether an extraction is your best option, your dentist will take X-rays of your teeth. Once you receive confirmation that your tooth or teeth need to be removed, you’ll want to ensure that your dentist is aware of any medications or supplements you’re currently taking, even if it’s over-the-counter medication. Additionally, your dentist should be aware if you have any allergies or health conditions, such as an artificial joint or diabetes.
It's important to ask any questions, or voice any concerns that you may have about the procedure, no matter how minor they may be. While an extraction is somewhat routine, you being well-informed and put at ease can make all the difference in your outcome as well as your future oral health.
What Is the Tooth Extraction Procedure?
As for what you can expect during the procedure, that will depend on the severity of your specific situation. With a simple extraction, common for teeth that are visible, the affected area will be numbed with a local anesthetic before the tooth is loosened and removed. Expect to feel pressure during the procedure.
On the other hand, if your tooth is impacted, you may need to have it surgically removed. IV, local and general anesthesia are commonly used for surgical extractions, so you’ll want to let your dentist know what you’re most comfortable with. Once the anesthesia has been administered, a small incision will be made in your gums before the tooth is removed. Know that there is a chance that your tooth may need to be cut or that the bone around the affected tooth may need to be removed to complete the procedure.
What Is the Recovery Period From a Tooth Extraction?
You can expect it to take as many as three days to recover from your extraction fully. It’s vital that you do your part to speed up and support your recovery. To address and reduce any swelling you may experience, you’ll want to apply ice packs to your cheek for no more than 15 minutes. Healthy clots are also essential for proper healing. The way to promote healthy clots is to make sure you bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth after your tooth removal. Doing so better ensures that you don’t experience a dry socket. Speaking of which, refrain from drinking through a straw or smoking after your procedure to keep your clots in place.
Be sure to take it easy for at least 24 hours after your procedure, taking any medication that you’re prescribed. Stick to eating soft foods the day following your procedure, and you’ll also want to follow your usual oral care routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing, taking care that you do so gently around the procedure site.
Your Peoria, AZ Tooth Extraction Dentist
If you suspect that you may have an infected or decayed tooth, it’s important to see your Peoria dentist as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us here at Johnny Smith DMD for a consultation. We look forward to seeing you and helping you achieve the best oral health possible.