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What You Should Expect From a Tooth Extraction

Not many people get excited to go see the dentist. A lot of people are filled with fear and anxiety when they think about going to the dentist. How many people actually know the root cause of this anxiety? While it’s easy to blame this fear on the noisy tools and sharp objects dentists use, the real fear probably comes from the unknown and the fear of pain.

Not knowing what to expect when you see a Philadelphia dentist is frightening. Your head begins to run wild with “what if” scenarios that may have very little to do with your actual dental visit. For example, one of the most feared dental procedures that people go in for on a regular basis is a tooth extraction. For most, the fear is not knowing what to expect with the procedure and thinking it will be painful.

What Are Tooth Extractions?

It’s important to note that dental extractions are very common dental procedures. While no one ever wants to get an adult tooth pulled, sometimes the procedure is necessary. Perhaps the tooth became damaged from an outside impact or is full of decay and beyond saving. Regardless of why the tooth needs to come out, understanding how to prepare for and recover from a tooth extraction may ease your anxiety.

When it comes to preparing for a tooth extraction of any kind, your first step is to visit your dentist for X-rays. Then, your Philadelphia dentist can plan the best way to remove your tooth. During the same visit, you’ll need to tell the dentist about your medical history, which will help with determining the best sedation to use during the extraction.

In the week leading up to the tooth extraction, you need to let your dentist know if you had any nasal congestion, vomiting or a cold. These symptoms could mean that you have to postpone your procedure. Postponing an extraction is just a safety precaution to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Getting Prepared for Your Tooth Extraction

Before your extraction, there are a few things that you should know. Firstly, it’s vital to let your dentist know if you’re taking any supplements or have any kind of medical condition. There are certain medical conditions that put you at a higher chance of getting an infection after an extraction. Knowing these conditions beforehand can help your dentist plan accordingly. Some of the conditions that put you at a higher risk of infection include:

  • Liver disease
  • Artificial joints or a human-made heart valve
  • A weakened or impaired immune system
  • A congenital heart defect
  • A history of bacterial endocarditis

Secondly, you should also know that there are two types of extractions your Philadelphia dentist might perform. One is known as a simple tooth extraction. As you may have already guessed by the name, this is the easiest out of the two procedures. This extraction simply requires the dentist to loosen the adult tooth and then remove it.

The other type of extraction is what dentists refer to as surgical. It typically happens when your tooth is still below the gumline. In this case, the extraction process is a bit more complex and requires the dentist to make incisions into the gums in order to reach the tooth for extraction.

Regardless of the tooth extraction that you need, a local anesthetic will be applied to the site. This will prevent you from feeling any pain during the extraction. You’re likely to feel some pressure as the dentist removes the tooth, though. If at any time during the extraction you start to feel pain, let your dentist know immediately.

Steps to Take After a Tooth Extraction

Let’s say that your tooth has been removed successfully, and now it’s time to go home. What steps should you take to ensure that you don’t run into any problems? During the first 24 hours, you can do several things to avoid having any setbacks during the healing process.

First, take it easy, and spend a lot of time resting. While resting, don’t lay your head down flat. Instead, keep it raised or propped up with pillows to minimize the bleeding that you experience.

During the first three hours, bite down on the gauze that the dentist gives you. Once again, it reduces the amount of bleeding from the extraction site, which will allow a clot to form. If the gauze becomes too soaked, you can replace it as much as needed.

In addition, avoid drinking from a straw. The suction on the straw could dislodge any clot that’s forming. Don’t spit forcibly or rinse your mouth either. At the same time, don’t floss or brush the extraction site during your normal oral care routine.

After your extraction, only eat soft foods. Yogurt, soup and applesauce are good options. It usually takes about two weeks for an extraction site to heal completely. As it does, you can slowly work solid foods back into your diet.

Are Wisdom Teeth Extractions Done the Same Way?

For the most part, wisdom teeth extractions are done the same as any other extraction. If you don’t know, wisdom teeth are molars located in the very back of the mouth. Unlike your other teeth, they don’t typically come in until you’re already an adult.

Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often need to be extracted because they come in crooked, are hard to clean, or overcrowd your mouth, forcing your other teeth too close together. Other times, wisdom teeth might fail to fully break the gumline. In such a case, you’ll need to have your wisdom tooth extracted to avoid more problems later.

Some dentists believe in removing wisdom teeth before they cause any problems. This is a preventive extraction with the goal of stopping a problem before it starts. However, not all dentists believe in this practice. That’s because some studies show that removing wisdom teeth before there’s an issue can cause even more issues.

The American Dental Association supports the removal of wisdom teeth in certain situations. For example, it believes wisdom teeth should be removed if they’re infected, cause pain or are damaging nearby teeth. The good news is that you don’t have to make the choice yourself. Your Philadelphia dentist can help you decide if you need your wisdom teeth out.

Talk to Our Dentist in Philadelphia

Be sure to talk to your dentist about your wisdom teeth to see if they need to be extracted. Not all adults have wisdom teeth, and not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. If yours come in straight and there’s plenty of room for them, you should be fine leaving them in. However, only your dentist can tell you for certain.

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