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What to Expect With a Tooth Extraction

There aren’t many times, that people look forward to going to the dentist. Maybe it’s because of the loud tools that they use or perhaps it’s a fear of sharp objects going into their mouths. Maybe it has to do with the uncertainty that goes into having a dental procedure done. Sometimes, it’s a combination of all the above. While you can’t control all of this, you can at least control your understanding of what to expect when getting dental work.

For example, many people fear going to the dentist to have a tooth extracted. This fear probably has less to do with the procedure and more to do with the fear of not knowing what to expect. How is the procedure performed? How do you prepare for and recover from the procedure? Simply knowing the answers to these questions can relieve a lot of anxiety.

Overview of a Tooth Extraction

For those who don’t know, tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket. There are plenty of reasons why you might need a tooth extracted. Maybe it was damaged by an outside force. It’s also possible that decay has set in, so you have to remove the tooth now. Regardless of the reason, tooth extraction is a very common dental practice.

The first step of preparing for a tooth extraction is to visit your Northern Virginia dentist. Only a dental professional can tell you if an extraction is the right course of treatment for you. X-rays of your mouth will be required so that the dentist can plan the best way to remove the tooth.

During this time, your dentist will discuss your medical history to decide the best method of sedation for the extraction. You’ll continue to communicate openly with your dentist through the process. Let the staff know if you had nausea, congestion or vomiting in the week leading up to the procedure. If so, you might have to delay your tooth extraction.

What to Know Before a Tooth Extraction

Before your tooth extraction, your Northern Virginia dentist will have to ask you a number of questions. Many of them are about your medical history, including any supplements or medications that you may take.

Certain medical conditions put you at a higher risk of developing an infection after an extraction, so you should disclose that information too. For instance, be sure to mention if you have a history of bacterial endocarditis, liver disease or an impaired immune system. If you have a human-made heart valve or artificial joints, you should tell your dentist.

Additionally, it’s important to note that there are two types of extractions that your dentist might have to perform. The first is just a simple extraction. With this type of extraction, the tooth is loosened and then removed from the mouth. It’s an easy process.

The other type is known as a surgical extraction. This type of extraction typically happens when the tooth is still below the gumline. When this happens, the dentist usually has to make small incisions in the gums in order to reach the tooth for extraction.

Regardless of what kind of extraction your Northern Virginia dentist does, a local anesthetic will probably be used to ensure that you don’t feel any pain during the extraction. Instead, you’ll only feel slight pressure while the dentist removes your tooth.

What to Know After Tooth Extraction

Once your tooth or teeth have been successfully removed, your dentist will pack the empty tooth socket with gauze to prevent a buildup of blood. If you want to reduce the bleeding, you can gently bite down on the gauze.

Over the next 24 hours, there are certain health guidelines that you should follow. For example, you should continue biting down on the gauze for three hours after the tooth extraction. Once again, doing so reduces bleeding and helps a clot form quicker.

During this time, you should avoid laying flat on your back or sides. Instead, lay with your head propped up by pillows. This should lessen the bleeding as well. For the first 24 hours, you should avoid drinking from a straw, rinsing your mouth or forcibly spitting. These actions could cause more bleeding or dislodge a clot that’s starting to form.

You should also try to eat soft foods, including soups, yogurt, and applesauce. As your mouth heals, you can slowly start adding solid foods to your diet again. If you’re in a lot of pain, consider taking any painkillers that your dentist prescribed to you. If you didn’t get a prescription, stick with over-the-counter medications.

Keep in mind that a certain amount of bleeding, swelling and pain is common after an extraction. This typically lasts for a week or two. If you experience fever, chills or vomiting, let your dentist know right away.

Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction the Same?

In most cases, a wisdom tooth extraction is handled in the same way. Wisdom teeth are molars that come in at the back of your mouth. They can come in along the top or bottom gumlines typically in your adult years.

In some cases, wisdom teeth need to be extracted because they cause pain and discomfort. Other times, they’re difficult to clean, which can lead to decay. Some Northern Virginia dentists recommend taking the teeth out as a preventive measure. However, not all dentists feel the same way about removing wisdom teeth. Instead, they only remove them if a problem arises from the teeth.

One of the most common problems with wisdom teeth is that they don’t always erupt or break through the gums. As a result, a number of issues could occur and require surgical removal.

The American Dental Association recommends that wisdom teeth be taken out in certain situations. For example, the ADA believes that wisdom teeth that cause pain or damage to nearby teeth should be removed. Wisdom teeth that are decaying should also be removed.

Some dentists are against removing wisdom teeth if they don’t cause discomfort or oral health problems. The reason is that some studies suggest that doing so can lead to more complications later in life, such as the development of diseases.

Contact Our Dentist in Northern Virginia

Thankfully, you don’t have to choose whether or not you need your wisdom teeth pulled. Our Northern Virginia dentist can determine if wisdom tooth removal is necessary. It’s essential to note that not everyone develops wisdom teeth. Others only get them on the top or bottom. No matter your situation, our dentist can create the right treatment plan for your needs.

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