What to Expect if You Need a Tooth Extraction

There are many reasons your dentist may need to pull a tooth. Trauma, decay, wisdom tooth removal, and correcting alignment are all common reasons for a tooth extraction. And the good news is that it’s an outpatient procedure that doesn’t typically take very long. Knowing what to expect helps with any nervousness you might be experiencing.

The compassionate dental experts at Hometown Family Dental Centers understand that a tooth extraction procedure can be frightening. We prepare you for the process, giving you clear and detailed instructions for healthy before-and-after care.

Sometimes, good oral health means removing a tooth. Our team of specialists is ready to work with you, providing excellent care for long-lasting oral health. 

Before a tooth extraction

If it’s possible to save a tooth, your dentist first shares the treatment options with you. However, if we determine that a tooth must be pulled, we review your medical and dental history to get started. Be sure to tell the doctor about all medications you take and if you’ve had or have conditions that make you prone to infection. This includes heart disease, liver disease, recent surgery, or a weakened immune system.

We use X-rays to reveal more information about the tooth being pulled, such as its shape, length, and position near the bone. On the day of your tooth extraction, refrain from smoking. If you’re receiving general anesthesia or a sedative, make sure you bring someone with you to your appointment who can drive you home afterward.

During a tooth extraction

During the procedure, we give you medication to numb your mouth, ensuring that you don’t feel a thing. This is usually a local anesthetic injected into your mouth. In some cases, you may also receive a sedative to help you relax. The tooth extraction specialists at Hometown Family Dental Centers make sure you’re comfortable before beginning the procedure.

During an extraction, your dentist first removes the gum tissue covering the tooth. We use forceps to rock the tooth back and forth until it’s loosened, and we pull it out once it’s loose enough.

We may have you bite down on gauze to stem any bleeding, and a few stitches may be needed. These stitches are the dissolvable kind that disappear on their own. All patients recovering from a tooth extraction receive detailed care instructions for returning home.

Tooth extraction aftercare

You can remove the gauze from your mouth usually three or four hours after the extraction, once the bleeding has stopped. It’s important to let the blood clot completely. This means you must not smoke or brush your teeth near the area for 24 hours after the procedure. It’s critical to keep your mouth clean to prevent infection, and your dentist can give you tips to ensure proper healing. 

To help with recovery, try to eat only soft foods at first, like yogurt, applesauce, and pudding. Do not use a straw, and avoid hot beverages.

Your dentist may send you home with painkillers to ease any discomfort you’re feeling in the days following your extraction. You can use an ice pack on your face for 15 minutes at a time. Also, try to limit strenuous activities. Finally, avoid touching the area with your tongue for at least three days. If you’re still experiencing pain after two weeks, call us to let us know.

Our professionals know that a tooth extraction seems scary. We promise to make you as comfortable as possible and answer all of your questions before getting started. Are you ready to make an appointment? Call the office location nearest you, or you can request an appointment online.

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