Chances are, if you are asking the question “How should I prepare for a tooth extraction?”, there is some fear behind it. No need to worry — with a little preparation and knowledge, having a tooth pulled doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. In most cases, an extraction is a simple quick process. In all cases, it is nothing to be feared as most dentists and oral surgeons perform them on a daily basis.
Why have a tooth pulled?
There are a many reasons why a tooth extraction may be necessary. These include:
- Baby teeth that refuse to come out or are blocking others from coming in
- Tooth decay, especially when it risks infecting other teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth that cannot be fixed
- Creating space for dental implants or orthodontic procedures
Before proceeding with a tooth extraction make sure there are no other options, as adult teeth do not grow back.
What to do before a tooth extraction
There are a number of steps to take before it is time to pull your tooth. Here are five ways you can prepare for the procedure:
- Make sure to provide your complete medical historyProvide your oral surgeon a complete list of any vitamins and medications you are taking. Let the surgeon know about any allergies or health issues, as local anesthetics can react with certain medicines and various conditions can create complications.
- Make arrangements for transportationEveryone reacts differently to anesthesia and pain medication, but no one should drive after local or surgical anesthesia. It is important to have a trusted friend or family member as a chauffeur and caregiver for the day.
- Follow the oral surgeon’s directionsOccasionally, antibiotics are prescribed before a tooth extraction. Make sure to follow directions and take any prescribed medications.
- Stock your pantry with soft, room temperature foodsFollowing a tooth extraction, the mouth will be sensitive. To avoid irritating the gums, stick with liquids and soft foods. Avoid foods that can easily get stuck, like popcorn, rice, and seeds.
- Take steps to relaxJust heading to the dentist’s office can cause anxiety for some. Listen to calming music on the way to the office, bring a friend, spend the morning relaxing. Have a favorite book or movie on hand for afterward.
- Do not eat the night before surgeryA full stomach increases the risk of aspiration (when the stomach’s contents are regurgitated into the lungs). There are exceptions for medication that requires food and patients with diabetes. Discuss these exceptions with the oral surgeon ahead of time.
- Do not smoke before and afterSmoking dries out the mouth and can irritate the extraction site. It is best to begin preparing before the extraction to take a few days off from smoking.
- Do not overbook the day??Take the full day off from work and spend time resting. Make preparations ahead of time for recovery.
Does a tooth extraction hurt?
The first six hours following an extraction are the most painful. The oral surgeon will prescribe pain medication, and ice packs can be used as well. Taken correctly, the pain medication will control the pain. If the pain is unbearable or the medication causes nausea, contact the surgeon.
If you are in need of having a tooth extracted do not put it off because you are anxious about what to expect. Talk to one of our dental health professionals today so we can help you through the process.
Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.