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What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction

Being scared of going to the dentist is an entirely normal feeling to have. The combination of noisy tools, sharp objects in your mouth, and the uncertainty about what could happen leads to many people being terrified of dentists. The best way to alleviate yourself of this fear is to become educated on what happens during your visit.

Many people are particularly afraid of having a tooth extracted. To help rid yourself of this fear, consult with a dentist in Fairfax Corner who can properly educate you on what will happen during the procedure, how to prepare for it, and what you will need to do after your extraction. Your dentist should also be able to help you understand the cost of a tooth extraction procedure.

A tooth extraction is sometimes performed when a tooth is broken, damaged or loose and can’t be repaired. The procedure consists of a dentist taking the tooth out of the bone socket. If your dentist decides that you need to have a tooth extracted, he or she will let you know what you can expect before, during and after your procedure.

Before the extraction can take place, your dentist will need to take an x-ray. This x-ray will help him or her to determine the best way to extract your tooth. The dentist will also need to know your medical history so that an appropriate method of sedation can be chosen. If you develop a cold, nasal congestion, nausea or vomiting in the week before you have your procedure, you need to let your dentist know. Your extraction may need to be scheduled for another date.

What Happens Before a Tooth Extraction Procedure

It’s important that you communicate with your dentist in Fairfax Corner before your procedure. He or she should be told about all medications and supplements you may be currently taking. In addition, you will need to inform your dentist about any medical conditions you have that could put you at a greater risk of an infection. These conditions include:

  • Impaired immune system
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Damaged or man-made heart valves
  • Artificial joints, such as hip or knee replacements
  • History of bacterial endocarditis

The kind of extraction procedure your dentist will perform is determined by the complexity of your case. A simple extraction is done when the tooth is above the gum line and consists of the dentist loosening and gently extracting the tooth from the socket. A surgical extraction is done when the tooth is below the gum line and consists of the dentist placing an incision on the gums to get to the tooth to extract it.

Local anesthetic is always utilized for a tooth extraction procedure. Some surgical extractions may utilize an intravenous anesthetic. You shouldn’t feel any pain during your procedure, but if you do, notify your dentist immediately.

What Happens After a Tooth Extraction Procedure

Once your dentist in Fairfax Corner has extracted your tooth, he or she will give you a piece of gauze to bite down on. This will allow a blood clot to form at the site of the removal. It also reduces bleeding. Self-dissolving stitches may be placed at the site.

You should follow the below aftercare instructions to be sure that your mouth properly heals:

  • Rest for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Keep gauze on the extraction site for at least three hours and replace when necessary.
  • Apply ice every 10 minutes.
  • Keep your head propped up on pillows.
  • Don’t spit, rinse or drink from a straw for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours have passed, mix 8 ounces of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt, and rinse your mouth out with it.
  • Eat soft foods until your extraction site is healed.
  • Don’t brush or floss around the affected area.
  • Follow your dentist’s directions when taking painkillers.

Minor to moderate pain, swelling and bleeding after the extraction is normal. If you have any of the following symptoms, talk to your dentist in Fairfax Corner as soon as possible:

  • Swelling, redness or excessive discharge
  • Severe swelling, bleeding or pain
  • Chills, fever or other symptoms of infection
  • Coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting

Symptoms like excessive pain, uncontrolled bleeding, intense swelling, chills, fever or difficulty swallowing should be reported to a dentist in Fairfax Corner immediately.

For several days following the extraction, you will need to eat a diet of foods that are soft and cold. You can resume your normal diet once the extraction site has healed. Avoid activities like sipping through straws, spitting or smoking. These can lead to the blood clot pulling away from the socket.

It will take one to two weeks for your mouth to heal. Once this has occurred, you will return to your normal dental care routines.

The Facts About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

During early adulthood, a third set of molars typically emerges within the back of the mouth. Known as the wisdom teeth, they are commonly removed as a preventive measure. Whether this is necessary is up for debate. Consult with your dentist in Fairfax Corner about your specific case. You should know the benefits, risks, cost and impact on your quality of life before making a final decision about having your wisdom teeth extracted.

There are many people who never have issues with their wisdom teeth. There are even some people who never have them appear. However, there are some who have their wisdom teeth become impacted beneath the gums or emerge crooked. This is when a wisdom tooth extraction becomes necessary.

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that wisdom tooth extractions be performed in cases where a patient experiences:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Tumors or cysts
  • Gum disease
  • Infections
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Tooth decay

Even if you don’t experience any uncomfortable symptoms from your wisdom teeth, your dentist in Fairfax Corner may recommend that they be extracted for preventive reasons such as:

  • Potential for disease: It’s not uncommon for wisdom teeth to lead to infections.
  • Safety: Removal of the wisdom teeth can prevent the possibility of problems in the future.
  • Age: Younger patients are at less risk of developing complications.

Speaking to your dentist in Fairfax Corner and seeking out a second opinion are all essential when it comes to deciding if you should have your wisdom teeth extracted.

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(703) 997-0928