Losing a tooth as a kid was so exciting when you received little surprises from the tooth fairy, but losing a permanent tooth as an adult favours no such joy. It is quite painful and inconvenient to have your tooth extracted.
There can be many insults to the tooth, and your dentist will initially try to repair the tooth and salvage your original tooth. However, if nothing works, extraction remains the only solution when your tooth is damaged beyond repair. This becomes necessary because there is a risk of this tooth damaging the other structures in its surroundings as well.
Dental extraction can be surgical extraction or nonsurgical extraction. In both the cases, it would be best if you stay prepared beforehand for the extraction. In this way, the extraction will be less painful and without any complications.
Why is tooth extraction needed?
As you all know, extraction is never the first choice. It is a radical treatment and hence, the last resort. Some conditions where extraction becomes an absolute indication or there is requirement of emergency tooth extraction include:
- Extensive tooth decay- Tooth decay is a fairly common phenomenon, especially in today’s scenario, where people have unhealthy eating habits. If your tooth has an infection that has spread up to the root of a tooth or beyond, you may need the tooth extracted. The infection might find its way into your circulation via the blood vessels or lymphatics, and the condition can become fatal.
- Impacted Wisdom tooth- Wisdom teeth or the last molars are extremely troublesome teeth for most people. Your mouth usually does not have enough space to accommodate these last molars, and hence, their eruption is painful. Sometimes, these cannot erupt and get impacted in the surrounding jaw bone or the gums. You have to get wisdom teeth extraction or the last molar extraction
- surgically in this case.
- Periodontal or gingival diseases- Sometimes, a tooth has to be extracted even if it is disease-free. Sound too strange? Yes, the teeth are supported by gums and bone, and if any of these structures are diseased, they won’t be able to hold the teeth in place. Also, the infection can spread to other areas as well. In such a situation, the tooth has to be extracted, and the gum or bone should be allowed to heal.
- Severe overcrowding of teeth- Overcrowded teeth are most often corrected by using braces, but if they are majorly misaligned or crowded, a tooth has to be extracted to make space for the remaining.
- Accidents- If your mouth has suffered an injury due to an accident, and your tooth has been broken or impacted, it should be extracted. In cases of injury, there is a high risk of infection and sepsis.
- For dental prostheses- You may have to get your tooth extracted if you are supposed to have dental prostheses such as a complete denture. Tooth extraction for braces is also done in cases of overcrowded teeth to make space and apply braces to correct the remaining teeth.
Tips to prepare for Tooth extraction
- Stay clear about the procedure– Do not hesitate to ask your dentist about any issues you are having. If you are not fully sure about the procedure or want other alternatives, talk to your dentist, and clarify your concerns. Don’t keep any queries in your mind; after all, it is your tooth, and you must be sure about it.
- Give a good history- Before the procedure, your dentist will take a thorough medical and general history. Make sure to answer all these questions honestly and adequately. If there is something in your medical history you think your dentist must know, tell him about it. It would help if you informed the dentist about any previous medical illness, surgery, chronic disease, drug intake, allergic conditions, and even about smoking or alcohol intake. Some drugs need to be discontinued before extraction, such as blood thinners, so be sure not to miss anything important.
- Get the investigations done- A few investigations may be required before the procedure. These include basic blood investigations and radio imaging in the form of an X-ray or CT scan to know the exact extent of disease and also any other underlying abnormality.
- Anaesthesia and analgesia- To relieve pain before surgery, your dentist will prescribe you painkillers. As painkillers are commonly taken by most of us for some cause or the other, tell your dentist about any preference or the one which you have been using. Please don’t take it without approval from the dentist. Tell your dentist if you have even been under anaesthesia before and if you faced any problems during that time. Some necessary medical investigations will be done before administering the anaesthesia.
- Nil per Oral for at least 8 hours- This means that you are not allowed to take anything orally at least for 8 hours before extraction. This prevents nausea at the time of the procedure. However, if you have to be only under local anaesthesia, such a long fasting period will not be required. If you are a smoker, avoid smoking for at least 24 hours before the procedure. However, it would be best if you quit it altogether because smoking increases the risk of the major complication after tooth extraction – “dry socket.”
- Wear comfortable clothing- Tooth extraction is a minor dental surgery, but it may lead to anxiety and nervousness, especially if you are undergoing it for the first time. It is recommended to wear something comfortable and avoid wearing any other accessories such as jewellery or contact lenses.
- Post-extraction care- After the procedure, the anaesthesia will take some time to wear off. In the interim, you would not be able to feel any sensation around your tongue and cheeks. Don’t worry about it. After that, you may feel some pain or swelling, take the painkiller your dentist prescribed. If there is some swelling or redness, you can put an ice pack over it for relief. If you feel shortness in your breath, fever, bleeding, or any major problem, see your dentist at the earliest.
Also, your dentist will recommend you to eat soft food and liquids for about 24 hours. You can take juices or smoothies; they are a great choice.
While sleeping, keep a pillow under your head to keep it slightly propped up.
If stitches have been applied to your gum, avoid brushing the area for a few days. You can use mouthwash and rinse your mouth well. It serves the purpose of cleaning teeth equally well.
Tooth extraction recovery takes around 2-3 days. Don’t stress about the gap that will be created in the place of the extracted tooth. There are plenty of methods to restore these gaps with dental implants, bridges, or dentures with cosmetic dentistry. If you are having trouble with your teeth, or require emergency dental treatment, visit our Dentist in Wycombe at Conway House Dental practice, which comprehensively provides the best dental services. Still, have questions? Feel free to call us on 01494526578 and book an appointment today.