All You Need to Know About the Tooth Extraction Procedure and Recovery Process

All You Need to Know About the Tooth Extraction Procedure and Recovery Process

April 8, 2021

Although everyone wants to keep their teeth for their entire lifetime, it is not always possible. If you have a damaged tooth that is beyond saving, tooth extraction or removal is recommended. Circumstances that may warrant an extraction include severe tooth decay, old age, and tooth damage from an accident.

Fortunately, tooth extraction is a standard procedure that can be completed within a single appointment. Minimal prior preparation is required, and the process is relatively straightforward compared to other dental procedures such as tooth restoration or replacement.

Before considering a tooth extraction, you should visit your dentist first for a dental exam. The dentist will then determine whether your tooth can be saved or not. If not, a tooth extraction will be recommended.

Who Needs a Tooth Extraction?

Not every damaged tooth should be removed. If your tooth is not completely damaged, you can repair it with a dental filling, crown, or other dental treatments. However, if the tooth damage is too severe, the dentist will recommend an extraction.

Common occasions where tooth extraction is essential include:

  • The tooth is beyond repair due to severe dental decay or trauma.
  • The tooth is infected.
  • The baby tooth failed to fall out on its own.
  • The wisdom teeth are impacted.
  • Space needs to be made for orthodontic treatment.

Visit your dentist to determine whether you need a tooth extraction.

Tooth Extraction Procedure

A dentist or oral surgeon performs tooth extractions. It can be simple or surgical, which will depend on your situation. For a whole tooth, the extraction is simple. If the tooth is broken or invisible, the extraction procedure is more complex.

Simple extraction – This procedure is done if your tooth is visible. The dentist will numb the extraction site with a local anesthetic so the process will be pain-free. The dentist uses an elevator to relax the tooth before removing it with dental forceps.

Surgical extraction – This is a more complex procedure that is used to remove a tooth that is broken and cracked at the gum line. The surgeon will make a minor cut into the gums to remove the underlying tooth.

How to Prepare for a Tooth Extraction Procedure

Once you visit the dentist for a dental exam, the tooth extraction can be performed at that time or scheduled for another day.

Before the procedure, make sure the dentist knows about your medical history, both overall and dental. It’s important to also let your dentist know if you’re taking any medication or supplements. Common conditions that your dentist must know include:

  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Thyroid disease
  • Renal disease
  • Damaged heart valves
  • An impaired or weak immune system
  • History of bacterial endocarditis
  • Hypertension
  • An artificial joint

Before the procedure, the dentist will ensure that you are stable enough to undergo a tooth extraction procedure. Avoid unhealthy practices before and after the procedure, such as smoking.

Risks of Tooth Extraction

Fortunately, a tooth extraction procedure is a simple process with very few risks. Some potential side effects of tooth extractions include:

  • Dry socket.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Severe chills and fever.
  • Pus or drainage from the incision.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Swelling and redness at the surgical area.

Contact your dentist if you experience severe or persistent symptoms.

Tooth Extraction Recovery

Following a tooth extraction, it will only take a few days to recover. After the procedure, it’s okay to feel a little pain and discomfort. The following steps will ensure that you recover quickly and smoothly:

  • Use an ice pack on the cheek to reduce swelling after the procedure.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Leave the gauze on until bleeding stops.
  • Take medication as prescribed, such as antibiotics or painkillers.
  • Rest and relax for 24 hours following the procedure.
  • Don’t drink using a straw for 24 hours following the procedure.
  • Brush and floss regularly. Avoid the extraction site until a few days after the procedure.
  • Eat soft foods immediately after the procedure.
  • Stay hydrated.

How Much Is a Tooth Extraction?

The cost of tooth extraction may vary depending on a few factors such as:

  • Types of tooth extraction—surgical or non-surgical.
  • Your geographical location.
  • Underlying dental and health conditions.

Schedule a Consultation

If you think you may need a tooth extraction, contact Belknap Dental Associates to schedule a consultation. We can help you determine whether or not your tooth can be saved and restored.

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