Tooth Extractions: Why They Are Performed, How to Prepare and Aftercare
Ideally, your teeth are designed to serve you your entire life. They are made of the most durable substance in your body (enamel). They are even sturdier than bones. They can survive virtually anything.
However, tooth extractions are still necessary for some people, especially when the tooth cannot be repaired using a crown or a filling. When it is impossible to repair a tooth, extraction becomes a viable and healthy option.
Regardless of tooth removal being a viable option, our Las Vegas dentist has to discuss the options you have during your consultation.
Thanks to modern dentistry, tooth extractions are not dreadful and are carefully performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist.
When Is Tooth Extraction Needed?
Nowadays, when your tooth is damaged in one way or another, there are a plethora of options available for tooth repair. These can be dental fillings and crowns, among others.
However, there are instances when the tooth damage is too severe that even the restorative options cannot repair the damaged tooth. This is when our dentist typically recommends tooth removal.
Some of the reasons as to why tooth extractions are needed can be:
- Gum disease (periodontal disease) that has destroyed a large portion of the surrounding bone or the tooth
- Severe tooth decay that has gone deep into the tooth
- Baby teeth that do not fall out when they are supposed to so as the permanent teeth can come in
- Extra teeth that can prevent teeth from coming in
- Impacted wisdom teeth which can cause the teeth to be extracted before or after they come in
- A broken tooth that cannot be repaired
- A collection of pus (abscess) on your gums or around the teeth
Tooth Extraction Preparation
Our dentist will take an X-Ray of your tooth before scheduling the procedure. This is to help ascertain whether the procedure is necessary and to check the extent of the damage.
You also have to inform our dentist about what medications, vitamins, non-prescription drugs, and supplements you take. If you are scheduled for another treatment for another condition, make sure that you inform our dentist so as the extraction can be done before the other treatment.
If you suffer from the following conditions, tell our dentist about it:
- Thyroid disease
- Congenital heart defect
- Renal disease
- An artificial joint
- An impaired immune system
- Adrenal disease
Our dentist may need to ensure that any of the above conditions are stabilized before you get your tooth extracted.
Here are some pointers before you come for an extraction:
- Do not smoke beforehand
- If you have a cold, tell our dentist so as you can reschedule
- If you are getting IV anesthesia, do not eat or drink six hours before the procedure
- Let someone drive you home if you are receiving general anesthesia
Tooth Extraction Process
There are two types of extractions:
- Simple extractions are performed when the tooth can be seen. Our dentist numbs the gum and tooth and uses a dental instrument known as an elevator to loosen the tooth. A dental forceps is then used to remove the tooth.
- Surgical extractions are more complex and are performed when your tooth has broken off at the gum line or has not yet emerged.
After the Extraction
It is vital to keep the area clean after an extraction to prevent an infection. Immediately after the procedure, our dentist will give a gauze that you will bite down for about 45 minutes to limit bleeding and promote blood clotting.
Clotting helps the gum to seal and heal faster. Experiencing pain and discomfort after the procedure is normal, which can be managed by painkillers, which our dentist will prescribe for you.
When to Use a Mouthguard or Night Guard After an Extraction
It is advisable to use a mouthguard at least 48 hours after the extraction. This will give the gum time to seal. However, if the mouthguard touches the site or feels uncomfortable when you wear it, contact our dentist to get the necessary adjustments.
When to Use Mouth Wash After an Extraction
Mouth wash is not to be used immediately after the procedure. You need to wait for at least 48 hours before you start using mouth wash. This is because mouth wash can dislodge the blood clot if used too soon.
It also contains alcohol, which can lead to drying out of the socket and causes irritation and pain.
After Extraction Care
Here are some aftercare tips:
- Rinsing your mouth is not advisable for at least a day after the procedure since this could interfere with any blood clot that has formed.
- Rinse gently with salty water after 24 hours four times a day to keep your gums clean.
- Eat soft food after extraction
- Don’t take alcohol for at least 24 hours after the procedure
- Also, avoid smoking for as long as you can
- Brush your teeth as usual but avoid touching the extraction site
Tooth extractions are simple outpatient procedures that can be done without you feeling immense pain. If you need a wisdom tooth extraction or any other dental procedure, you can contact our dentist at The Tooth Family Dental.