Permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, there are certain reasons why dental extractions may be necessary. When you have an impacted wisdom tooth or infected teeth, the best option is normally to undergo this procedure.
We can all agree that going to an oral surgeon with a bad tooth is tad frightening. This is especially when you are sure that you’ll undergo this one procedure that makes everyone cringe. While undergoing dental extractions is among the least desirable experiences you’ll ever undergo, you don’t necessarily have to be alarmed.
When you come to our dental office, our oral and maxillofacial dentist, Dr. Christopher Johnson will be happy to tell you everything you need to know before you undergo the procedure. Knowing the facts and understanding what to do to avoid issues can make the entire experience, well, not so terrifying. The following are the important aspects to know before undergoing dental extractions:
How do you prepare for dental extractions?
Just like with other procedures, it is important to be well prepared for a dental extraction procedure. Before the procedure, you should:
- Steer clear of alcohol and cigarettes.
- Avoid drinking or eating for 6 to 8 hours before your appointment.
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt to your appointment if you will receive intravenous anesthesia.
- Give your mouth a thorough clean just before the surgery as you won’t be able to do so in the next few days after the procedure.
- Ask someone to drive you home or make travel arrangements after undergoing the procedure, especially if you will receive general anesthesia.
During your first appointment, you can ask the dentist or oral surgeon how to be best prepared for the procedure. Our oral surgeon usually takes his time to explain to his patients how they should prepare for the procedures they are scheduled to undergo.
What things should you disclose to an oral surgeon?
Before undergoing a dental extraction, it is important that you tell the oral surgeon or dentist about any medical condition you may be having. The medical conditions to disclose include diabetes, congenital heart defect, hypertension, renal disease, adrenal disease, thyroid disease, and liver disease. It is also important that you tell your doctor if you have damaged heart valves, an artificial joint, impaired immune system, or if you have a history of bacterial endocarditis. In case you catch a cold right before your appointment, be sure to tell the oral surgeon so that the procedure can be rescheduled.
Like with other procedures, it is important to tell the oral surgeon about the medications you may be currently taking, including prescription, over the counter, and herbal medications. If you are scheduled to undergo treatment that involves an intravenous drug called bisphosphonate, it is important that you tell the oral surgeon about it.
Our oral surgeon will want to ensure that all conditions are treated before you undergo dental extractions. If you have a specific medical condition, a weakened immune system, or an infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics a few days before the procedure is done.
How are dental extractions performed?
A dental extraction is the permanent removal of a natural tooth from its socket. Whether you’re going to an oral surgeon, periodontist, or a general dentist for wisdom teeth removal, the procedure is generally the same. If there will be any specific differences, they will come about as a result of personal surgical preferences.
Your dental extractions can either be a simple manual procedure, or it can be a surgical procedure, depending on whether your tooth is impacted or visible.
- Simple dental extraction
The procedure usually starts with numbing the area using a local anesthetic. The oral surgeon or dentist uses a probe to check the area for proper numbness. A laser or drill may be needed to find a way to the deeper parts of the tooth so as to make room for an instrument called the elevator that is used to loosen the tooth.
Once the desired amount of tooth movement is achieved, the oral surgeon or dentist uses a pair of forceps to push the loose tooth downward until it comes out. The surgeon inspects the area to ensure that there is no infected tissue or fragments left in the socket. He/she then uses a sterile saline solution to clean the area and then stitches the gum tissue to return it into its original state.
- Surgical dental extraction
While a general dentist can perform simple dental extractions, serious problems such as impacted wisdom teeth and seriously decaying or damaged teeth require surgical extraction. Therefore, it is best to visit our oral surgeon with such problems.
The procedure starts with the administration of both local anesthesia and intravenous anesthesia. If you have any medical conditions, you may require general anesthesia, which will enable you to remain unconscious during the surgical procedure. The oral surgeon then makes a small incision in the gum, and he/she may need to remove bone around the tooth or cut the tooth before extracting it.
Dr. Johnson can perform both simple tooth extractions and surgical dental extractions. He will examine your tooth and will choose the most ideal extraction method depending on the nature of tooth and your dental problem.
What are the risks of dental extraction?
Tooth extraction is a safe procedure that rarely has risks. However, there is still a probability for certain risks to occur, which include:
- “Dry socket”, which is the failure of a blood clot to naturally form in the socket
- Bleeding that lasts for more than 12 hours
- Redness and swelling at the surgical area
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe fever and chills
Should any of these symptoms occur after you undergo a tooth extraction procedure, it is important that you contact our oral surgeon.
How long does it take to recover from a dental extraction?
It usually takes several days to recover after dental extractions. To ensure that your recovery is quick and smooth, you can try the following:
- Apply ice to your cheek for 10 minutes several times during the day to reduce swelling.
- Bite down the gauze pad to aid in clot formation and to reduce bleeding.
- Take prescribed medications and over-the-counter painkillers as directed.
- Rest for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
- Don’t use a straw and don’t smoke for a few days after the procedure.
- Prop your head up using pillows when lying down.
- Eat soft foods the day after the procedure.
If you notice signs of an infection or severe, persistent pain after several days, you should make an appointment to see your oral surgeon as soon as possible.
Don’t let impacted or infected teeth cause you sleepless nights. You can trust in the qualified and respected oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Christopher T. Johnson at Lake County Oral Surgery, to extract the problematic tooth effectively and safely. In your first appointment, he will be happy to answer all your questions and share with you all the details that you should know before undergoing dental extractions. With over 10 years of experience in his Clermont office alone, in combination with his impressive specialties in oral and maxillofacial as well as reconstructive surgeries, he can easily soothe any pre-surgery nerves.
Contact us today and schedule an appointment for any dental extraction related procedures today!