A tooth extraction procedure may not sound like the ideal dental visit, but it’s often a medically necessary step to reducing oral discomfort in the long run. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for your procedure and minimise any discomfort you may feel. At Tooth Crusader, we ensure our patients’ comfort for all dental procedures.
When tooth extraction is necessary
A tooth extraction procedure is sometimes required due to tooth disease, overcrowding, or tooth trauma.
For instance, if a patient suffers from periodontal disease to the extent that there is not enough bone to support a tooth, it’s a strong case for tooth extraction. If a tooth has sustained so much trauma or such extensive decay that it cannot be repaired with a filling or crown, an extraction may be necessary. I might recommend a procedure for tooth extraction before orthodontic treatment, such as if your mouth is overcrowded. A tooth extraction procedure may also be required for wisdom teeth, especially if they are impacted.
Preparing for your tooth extraction procedure
If you suspect you may need a tooth extraction, contact me to schedule a consultation appointment. During the consultation, I will take an x-ray of the problematic area of your mouth and examine your dental health. I will ask you to give me a comprehensive list of any vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter drugs,recreational and prescription medications you take.
We will discuss your current health and any upcoming treatments. For example if you are being treated with the intravenous drug bisphosphonate, in which case we will need to plan your tooth extraction procedure to occur before the drug treatment.
Simple tooth extraction versus surgical tooth extraction
There are two types of tooth extraction: simple and surgical. Simple extractions are generally used for teeth which are visible above the gumline, while surgical extractions are reserved for teeth that are impacted below the gumline.
For a simple extraction, I administer local anaesthesia so you will feel pressure rather than pain in your mouth during the procedure. I will then use an elevator, which is an instrument that loosens the tooth, before using forceps to remove the tooth.
For surgical tooth extraction, I will also administer local anaesthesia, or you may have elected to be under twilight sedation.
I will make a small incision in the gumline to remove the affected teeth and bone. I typically section the tooth, so it is easier to remove before stitching the area closed.
If we are preparing for further treatments such as implants in that area we may even offer a bone graft option.
Things to know before a surgical tooth extraction
Before your tooth extraction procedure, there are a few things that you can do to make your procedure and recovery as comfortable and as smooth as possible.
Wear comfortable clothing in order to feel relaxed during your procedure. Also, refrain from eating or drinking six to eight hours before your appointment.
For both procedures, refrain from smoking beforehand. Inform me if you’ve been vomiting or nauseous in the past 24 hours or have caught a cold, as this may necessitate rescheduling or a different type of anaesthetic.
If you will be receiving an IV sedation, our doctor will contact you before the extraction (typically the day before) and will run through a few things. Also please ensure you bring a companion to escort you home.
Risks involved in tooth extraction procedures
Any surgical procedure carries with it some inherent risks. The primary risk in the aftermath of a tooth extraction procedure is a condition called “dry socket.” This occurs when the blood clot that naturally forms in place of an extracted tooth is dislodged, leaving the bone and nerves beneath exposed. This can be painful, and if this happens, contact me. I will place a sedative dressing over the extraction site so a new blood clot can form.
If you experience nausea or vomiting, a sudden cough, chest pain, redness or swelling at the surgical site, shortness of breath, severe fever and chills, or bleeding that lasts longer than 12 hours, contact me so I can get you back on the path to efficient healing.
Recovering from your tooth extraction procedure
It will take you a few days to recover from a tooth extraction. I will give you personalised guidance for your recovery, but I often recommend that patients apply ice packs to their jaw to minimise swelling. I may recommend a personalised combination of over the counter or prescription painkillers.
Relax and rest for the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction. Within these first 24 hours, refrain from using a straw, smoking, or rinsing your mouth. If you have to spit, do so very gently as not to disrupt the blood clot. Prop your head up with pillows when sleeping to minimise swelling.
After the first 24 hours, you can rinse with a half teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of warm water. Repeat this after ingesting soft foods or beverages to keep the wound site clean. Slowly start to reintroduce solid foods over the next few days.
If you feel you may need a tooth extraction, contact my team at Tooth Crusader to book your consultation appointment. Call on (02) 8203 8750 or fill out the online contact form.