Sharing a confident smile and ensuring a healthy mouth all starts with practicing good oral hygiene and caring for your teeth and gums in the best ways possible.
Yet, it only takes a sudden trauma or rapidly accumulating decay to cause one of those teeth to become beyond repair. When something like this happens, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction.
No one likes the thought of losing a natural tooth, and if there’s any way to save it, your dentist will recommend doing so. Still, there are times when it may turn out to be the best option for you.
Reasons You Might Need a Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction involves a procedure wherein a tooth is completely removed from its socket in the bone.
The need for this tooth extraction can be sudden or build over time and become your only option. There are many common reasons why you may need one, including the following.
- Severe tooth decay (cavities)
- An impacted tooth
- A fractured tooth
- Severe gum disease surrounding a tooth
- Dental injuries
Infection that gets into the pulp of the tooth can lead to severe toothache. Tooth extraction can provide quick relief instead of having to wait to undergo a root canal to save as much of the natural tooth as possible.
Patients undergoing orthodontic treatments may need to undergo an extraction due to crowded teeth.
Tooth luxation is also a cause for extraction. This condition occurs when some type of trauma leads to a disruption in the ligaments, tissue, and bone that keeps the tooth anchored in place. It can also affect the nerves and available blood supply. A tooth that is luxated may be loose or catapulted out of its socket, requiring extraction.
How to Prepare for a Tooth Extraction
While you may experience stress and concern prior to a tooth extraction, it helps to know how to prepare yourself and what steps to take before the procedure. Here is how you can do that.
Ask Questions and Voice Any Concerns
Your dental team will help you through a tooth extraction procedure, including the before, during, and after. Prepare, ask questions, and voice any concerns you may have beforehand. Write these down if that will help you to remember them better.
Knowing all you can about what is to occur in the procedure can help put your mind at ease, so don’t hesitate to ask or mention anything that is on your mind.
Review your Medical History with your Dentist
Prior to the tooth extraction procedure, it’s essential that you review your comprehensive medical history with your dentist.
A history of any of the following will especially need discussion as they can make you more susceptible to infection.
- Impaired (or compromised) immune system
- Congenital heart defect
- Bacterial endocarditis
- Damaged or bio-medical heart valves
- Liver disease
- Artificial joint replacements
- Any bleeding disorders
Also, inform your dentist if you are undergoing chemotherapy or any other type of medical treatment.
Provide a List of Current Medications
Providing a list of current medications is crucial before undergoing tooth extraction. The reason for this is so your dentist can identify and avoid potential drug complications or interactions.
For example, if you currently take any type of blood thinner, it may be recommended that you cease taking them prior to the extraction appointment. By doing so, you will decrease the risks of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure and promote faster healing.
Discuss Anesthesia and Sedation Options
Prior to extraction, a patient receives anesthesia or sedation. You’ll need to learn about and discuss your available options and make a decision you feel comfortable with.
If you’ve ever experienced side effects from any of the options available, let your dentist know as soon as possible.
Avoid Eating Prior to Extraction
In general, patients need to avoid eating anything for at least 12 hours before the extraction. Reasons for this include a lower chance of feeling nauseous during the procedure or immediately afterward.
For those choosing a local anesthetic, such fasting may not be necessary but check with your dentist beforehand.
If you are unable to fast due to a health condition such as diabetes, also let your dentist know.
Cease Smoking for At Least 12 Hours
While it may be difficult, cease smoking at least 12 hours before the extraction procedure. Smoking can potentially cause complications and can impede the healing process, delaying your recovery.
Discuss the Need for Painkillers
Following the procedure and after the anesthesia or sedation wears off, some patients may experience pain. Beforehand, discuss with your dentist whether you will want a prescription and, if so, any preference you may have.
Understand What Your Insurance Will Cover
To keep expectations in check, find out if the tooth extraction procedure is covered under your dental insurance. Give them a call so you won’t be hit by any surprises after the fact. If it’s not covered, or if you do not have dental insurance, discuss with your dentist any payment options that are available.
Stock up on Soft Foods
Following the tooth extraction, you will need to eat only soft foods and avoid hard and crunchy options. Be sure to stock up on these beforehand. Options may include yogurt, applesauce, soups, rice, mashed potatoes, and ingredients for smoothies.
Bring Someone with You to the Appointment
Since you will be receiving one type of anesthesia or another in most cases, plan to bring along someone with you to the appointment so they can drive you home afterward and keep an eye on you.
Contact Bateson Dentistry to Schedule an Appointment Today
Dental appointments and procedures, such as tooth extractions, can be stressful and filled with apprehension and anxiety. Dr. Bateson and her team will take the time to answer questions, discuss any concerns you may have, and find a way to make any dental experience as comfortable as possible. Call Bateson Dentistry today or go online and schedule a consultation to get started.