There are things in life that are bound to happen, whether we like it or not. A lot of us fear going to the dentist and having our tooth extracted. We don’t like it, but it is necessary. But worry no more! The advent in technology allowed tooth extraction procedures to be painless and stress-free.
In the United States, extractions are very typical. In fact, at least 20 million teeth are pulled out every year for various reasons. Extractions can occur in order to combat to tooth decay; to be an initial step for braces and retainers; to save space because of the Wisdom tooth; or to prevent tooth infection that is corollary with radiation and chemotherapy in cancer patients.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Basically, there are two types of tooth extractions: simple and surgical. At Aquario Dental, our oral health professionals will advise you which of those kinds are perfect for your condition. Nevertheless, here are what you should know about them:
- Simple Tooth Extraction – This kind of tooth extraction is only applicable if the tooth to be removed is at the anterior of the mouth. During the procedure, the dentist will administer general anesthesia, and sometimes conscious sedation or anti-anxiety medication. The tooth will be loosened up and removed. After the procedure, the pain can be managed through pain medications available over the counter.
- Surgical Tooth Extraction – This type of tooth extraction is more complex since the tooth to be extracted is not conspicuous in the mouth. A skilled oral surgeon will perform the procedure while the patient is under anesthesia. Then, the gum will be cut to extract the tooth that is causing discomfort to the patient. After the procedure, medications can be used to manage the pain.
Preparing for Tooth Extraction
Before extractions, a common routine involves getting the patient’s complete medical and dental history. This also includes the medications you take, such as over the counter prescription drugs, vitamins and supplements. Be sure to prepare this information beforehand.
You will then be X-rayed to evaluate your condition and to determine the most appropriate way to extract the targeted tooth or teeth. Before performing the surgery, your dentist may ask you to take antibiotics subject to the length of the procedure. Here at Aquario Dental, we will thoroughly discuss the surgery with you. If you have any concerns or questions, we encourage you to consult our dental professionals prior to the tooth extraction.
What to Expect After the Extractions
Bleeding is very typical after tooth extractions, whether simple or surgical. The dentist will cushion the extracted site with a gauze pad to minimize this. Depending on the procedure performed, the gauze pad should stay for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Alternatively, you can use a moistened tea bag. The tannic acid present in tea bags aids in setting the blood clot and constricts the bleeding vessels.
If you are a smoker, it is best to refrain from smoking at least a week after the tooth extraction. The chemicals present in the cigarette not only affect your oral health but also drastically increase the likelihood of infection.
Whenever you feel discomfort, place an ice pack outside your mouth for every 20 minutes or so. Do this for two days or until any bruising and swelling subsides. In terms of your diet, it is best to stay hydrated and drink ONLY cold or lukewarm fluids. Stay away from soda and foods that stick in between your teeth.
The area where the tooth was removed will generally be on the mend for 1 to 2 weeks. You should only return to your normal eating habits and dental care routine after the extraction site has completely healed.