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What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction

Many of us have concerns or fears about some types of dental treatment. Extractions can be especially frightening to those who may have had unpleasant dental experiences in the past. Finding the right dental care in Philadelphia can help you to feel more confident and less stressed about extractions and other major dental procedures. By working with a qualified and experienced dentist, you can enjoy the best and most effective treatment options for yourself and every other member of your family. Here is some basic information on dental extractions and how they work.

What Does It Mean to Have a Tooth Pulled?

Pulling a tooth is another way of referring to a simple extraction. These procedures are usually performed by your regular dentist and involve loosening the tooth with specialized tools and then pulling it out with forceps. In some cases, a simple extraction may require that the tooth be divided into pieces before it can be removed safely.

Oral surgery procedures are used in cases where the tooth has been severely damaged or is decayed. As a result of this deterioration, it is usually necessary to cut into the gums to remove all roots and all pieces of the damaged or broken tooth. Surgical extractions may require sedation or even general anesthesia to prevent you from feeling pain during these complex procedures.

Types of Sedation and Anesthesia

The majority of extractions are performed using local anesthesia. This method involves the injection of pain-relieving medications into the gums in the area of the procedure. You may feel a sharp stinging sensation at first, which will fade as the numbing agents begin to work. Some patients also report a sense of pressure or discomfort when a tooth is being pulled in a simple extraction. Your dentist may be able to apply more local numbing agent or to inject more anesthetic if these issues bother you.

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is another method of managing pain and sedating dental patients. If you and your dentist decide on this pain management strategy, you will be asked to breathe in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide to eliminate pain and to relax you deeply during your procedure.

Other types of sedation are administered through an intravenous drip, a direct injection or taken orally. You may also be a good candidate for general anesthesia, which renders you unconscious throughout the procedure. This type of sedation, however, is usually reserved for very complex or long procedures. It may also cost more than other types of sedation.

Preparing for a Dental Procedure

Your dentist will perform X-rays of your teeth before deciding whether extraction is the right solution for your dental situation. You will also be asked some general questions about your state of health and any medications you may be taking. It is very important that you answer these questions fully and honestly. If you have any of these medical conditions, make sure your dentist knows about them before your procedure:

  • Artificial joints or valves can increase the risk of infection after a dental procedure. This can occur because the bacteria that are released into the bloodstream during dental work can collect around these artificial parts of the body.
  • Blood thinners and diseases like hemophilia can result in excessive bleeding after a tooth is pulled. Your dentist may ask you to stop taking blood thinners for a short period of time preceding your extraction appointment.
  • Certain heart problems, including bacterial endocarditis, can make dental procedures riskier. Your dentist will discuss these issues with you before planning the course of your extraction to make sure your procedure is as safe as possible.
  • Diabetes can slow the progress of healing and should be reported to your dentist before planning your extraction.
  • If you have immune deficiency disorders, it is important to let your dentist know. You will need added protection during the dental extraction process.

Making sure your dentist knows about any ongoing or current medical issues will be essential in managing your dental care in the most effective way possible.

During and After the Procedure

Depending on the type of sedation and the complexity of the procedure, your extraction may take less than an hour or as long as four or five hours. In most cases, you will experience little or no pain or discomfort during your procedure. After your extraction is complete, you will be asked to follow a few simple guidelines that will help speed your recovery:

  • Ice packs can be used to bring down swelling and to relieve pain.
  • Keep your head elevated even when sleeping. This will reduce bleeding during the critical first hours after your procedure.
  • Your dentist will apply a gauze pad to the extraction site after your tooth has been removed. Follow your dentist’s instructions to bite down on this gauze for about three hours after the procedure is complete.
  • Eat only soft foods and soups for the first 24 to 48 hours after your extraction. You can then introduce solid foods gradually over the next week.
  • If your dentist recommends it, you can rinse your mouth with a small amount of salt suspended in warm water. This could reduce the chance of infections and can help your mouth to stay cleaner and healthier.
  • Your dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain medications or may prescribe medications to help you manage pain. Take these medicines exactly as prescribed.

Your dental office in Philadelphia is a great source of information and dental services for you and your entire family. To learn more about the options available for extractions and other dental treatments, you can contact your local dentist directly at . Your dentist will be happy to help you find the perfect solution for your dental needs.

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