A tooth extraction is a dental procedure performed by a dentist or oral surgeon. A tooth is completely removed from its spot in the jawbone during these outpatient procedures. There are many reasons for tooth extraction procedures, including the overall wellbeing of your dental health.
You are likely feeling nervous if you have a dental tooth extraction appointment coming up, particularly if this is your first time having a tooth pulled. Luckily, these procedures are relatively straightforward, and severe complications are unlikely. Here is some information on what you can expect during the tooth extraction process.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Depending on the nature of your dental issue, there are two types of tooth extractions. Simple extractions are for minor problems, while surgical extractions are for more complex dental situations.
It is essential to know the difference between the two procedures to prepare adequately before the procedure. Understanding each type will also inform your sedation choice and how much time you will need to recover.
Tooth Extraction Process
Healthcare practitioners try to avoid pulling teeth whenever possible. However, there are times when other restorative dental methods are not enough. Your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction If a dental filling or crown is not an option. The following scenarios may require a tooth extraction:
- Severe tooth deterioration
- An impacted tooth
- A fractured tooth
- Dental injuries
- Serious gum disease
- Crowded teeth
Dentists and oral surgeons perform tooth extractions. Before the procedure, your dentist will administer an anesthetic to numb the mouth area. A general anesthetic is sometimes necessary if you have impacted teeth or you need multiple teeth pulled. Your dentist will assess the nature of your teeth and recommend the best procedure and anesthetic.
When your dentist performs a simple tooth extraction, a visible tooth is surgically removed from your mouth. A simple extraction is often necessary if you have severe tooth decay that is unfixable fixed with root canals or cavity fillings. Your dentist may also recommend this procedure if you have fractured teeth or prepare for dental implant placement.
Depending on your health condition and preferences, your dentist may recommend the following sedation methods for your procedure:
- Local anesthesia: This type of anesthesia is given in the mouth via an injection.
- Twilight anesthesia: Twilight anesthesia goes into the body intravenously and may make you feel groggy but will not put you to sleep.
- Nitrous oxide: Commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide makes you unaware of the procedure but does not put you to sleep.
- General anesthesia: A general anesthetic puts the patient to sleep during complicated procedures.
The recovery process for a simple extraction is often easier than for more complex surgical interventions. You can drive yourself home after the procedure if you use local anesthesia or nitrous oxide. However, due to the strength of the substances, you will need someone to take you home if you have general or twilight anesthesia.
A surgical tooth extraction is a more complex procedure than a simple extraction. Often performed by an oral surgeon, surgical extractions remove teeth that are not yet visible in the mouth. Your dentist may recommend this procedure in the following situations:
- A condition that causes you to grow more teeth than your mouth can accommodate.
- You have impacted wisdom teeth that are painful or irritating.
- An unerupted tooth needs removal to accommodate a surgical procedure, such as dental implants or braces.
Surgical extractions are more complicated than simple procedures because the dentist cuts the gum and removes the teeth below the gumline. Thus, many dentists recommend general or twilight anesthesia for the process. Most people resume normal activities within 72 hours of having a surgical extraction.
After the Extraction
Following a simple or surgical extraction, you can go home immediately after the procedure to recover. You should closely follow your dentist’s guidelines to help minimize the risk of complications. You should stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after all extractions. You may wish to stay home for longer for surgical procedures.
Ways to Help Reduce Discomfort and Heal Fast After a Tooth Extraction
There are ways to speed up the recovery process following a dental tooth extraction. Following a specific set of guidelines and avoiding certain foods can speed up the recovery process.
Change Dental Gauzes
After the procedure, your dentist will put dental gauze on the affected area to control bleeding. Change the gauze every 30 minutes during active bleeding, which should only last for a few hours following surgery.
Your dentist may prescribe medication to help relieve any pain associated with the procedure. Many patients also choose to take over-the-counter pain medications.
Swelling is common after dental tooth extraction procedures but should subside entirely within a week. Applying an ice pack to the face near the extraction area can help control the swelling immediately after surgery. Use an ice pack in 15-minute intervals for the first 24 hours.
Avoid Disturbing the Extraction
Avoid disturbing the extraction area by minimizing eating, drinking, and talking for the first 24 hours. Take care when performing necessary actions involving the mouth.
Take Care When Eating
You should eat only soft foods for the first week after your dental tooth extraction. Try limiting your intake to foods such as:
- Mashed potatoes
- Cottage cheese
Also, avoid eating very hot or cold foods immediately after the procedure.
Work With a Dental Tooth Extraction Expert
Are you ready to book your next dental appointment? A tooth extraction is a common procedure with minimal risk of complications if you work with an experienced dentist and allow yourself enough time to recover. Contact Dana Street Dental today to get a free quote.