Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure to remove damaged, diseased, or crowded teeth from the jawbone. While tooth extractions may seem intimidating, they are a routine procedure for dentists, and with modern techniques and anesthesia, the process is quick, effective, and virtually painless.
Whether you're scheduled for a tooth extraction or considering this option for your dental health, it's essential to know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
Before tooth extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will review your medical history to ensure you're healthy enough for the procedure. They will also provide instructions on medication use, preparation, and what to expect during the procedure. You may also receive antibiotics before or after the procedure, which will help prevent infection. Your dentist or oral surgeon will discuss the anesthesia options with you so you'll know what to expect when the extractions begin.
During the extraction procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will first numb the extraction area with a local anesthetic. The dentist loosens the tooth with a pair of dental forceps to gently wiggle it back and forth until it is loose enough to remove. If the tooth is too difficult to loosen, the dentist may need to cut into the gums to remove it entirely. This process may sound painful, but patients feel only pressure, not pain, due to the anesthetic.
After extraction, your dentist will give you post-operative instructions to follow before you leave the office. It's essential to follow these instructions closely, as they will help ensure your recovery goes smoothly. During the first few hours, expect to experience bleeding from the site of the extraction, and you should attempt to avoid biting down on the treated area. Your dentist may also recommend a soft diet for the first few days and may prescribe pain medication or suggest you take over-the-counter options.
Although tooth extractions are generally safe, some potential risks and complications include nerve injury, infection, and dry sockets. A nerve injury can result in numbness or tingling in the mouth, lasting several weeks or months. Infection is always a risk with a surgical procedure, but antibiotics and close follow-up care can reduce your risk. Finally, dry sockets occur when the blood clot that forms in the socket dislodges from the extraction site. Your dentist will help you identify the symptoms of a dry socket and provide the appropriate treatment.
Contact a dentist in your area for more info.