Preparing for a Dental Extraction Appointment

December 6, 2017

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Dental extractions may be needed for several reasons. A young adult may require unerupted wisdom teeth removed. A child may need to have a tooth pulled before starting a course of orthodontic treatments. Sometimes a tooth must be extracted when gum disease, tooth decay, or structural damage prevent us from saving the tooth with a root canal.

If you need an extraction, call Lake Lanier Smiles to learn about our affordable rates for uninsured patients. Simple extractions start at just $139-169. Contact our Buford, GA dental practice at 770-831-0559 to learn more.

If you have an extraction scheduled, the first thing you’ll need to consider is whether your extraction will be a simple or surgical procedure. The type of extraction you will be having makes a big difference in how you can prepare for the procedure and what you can expect afterwards.

Simple Extractions – These are often very fast, simple procedures that take only a few minutes, using a local anesthetic. If your tooth is already erupted and is mostly intact, your Lake Lanier doctor will not usually recommend any specific preparation, other than a good night’s sleep.

Surgical Extractions – If your extraction requires surgical incisions into the gum tissue, your healing and recovery period will be far more serious. These extractions require a form of anesthesia, so there are a number of special considerations you should be aware of.

You Will Need Help

If you are having a surgical extraction, plan on having a friend or family member look after you on the day of your surgery. You will not be able to drive afterward, so they should wait for you in the lobby during the procedure.

Your helper should also plan on staying with you for several hours after the procedure, up to a full 24 hours, if possible. Why? You will be sore and tired, and will feel extremely limited in what you can do. It helps to have someone around who can fetch you an ice-pack or prepare food when you get hungry. Your mouth will heal best if your activity level is low, so having a helper around is a valuable part of the initial healing process.

A Trip to the Store (Before) Can Make You More Comfortable After the Extraction

Even simple extractions can leave you with a sore mouth. Trying to eat your usual, routine foods after an extraction can be painful and may interfere with how well the socket will heal. Most patients choose to eat only soft foods after an extraction, so make a special trip to the store to stock up on your favorite soups, smoothies, and other soft foods to make it easier on yourself. An ice-pack will also be needed, so make sure you have the necessary elements to put one together at home.

On the Day of Your Extraction

If you will be using a form of anesthesia, your doctor will give you detailed instructions for not eating and drinking on the day of the procedure. Anesthesia can often make patients nauseous during or after the procedure, so it’s important your stomach is empty when you come in for your appointment. Follow all of our instructions carefully; we have your best interests in mind.

Try to get a good night’s sleep before your extraction and eat nutritious foods the day before. This will help your body recover from the procedure and heal optimally.

Preparing for Your Recovery

With all extractions, its important that you take some time to rest and take it easy so your body can heal properly. For many, this means taking some time off work, which we fully recommend. Trying to get back to your routine too soon can have a detrimental effect on the healing process and may lead to complications that can be both painful and time-consuming.

For a simple extraction, you may only need to rest and recover for one day before resuming your routine, whereas surgical extractions may take a bit longer. As your doctor what you can expect.

What Happens During Healing

Allowing the blood to clot after an extraction is critical to your recovery. When a tooth is removed, it leaves behind an empty socket, which can become painfully dry (dry sockets) if the blood does not clot properly.

To encourage your blood to clot properly, take the following steps in the day(s) following surgery:

  • Bite down on gauze to stanch any bleeding
  • Do not suck through a straw or chew gum
  • Do not spit, suck on your teeth, or swish your mouth with water
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco or vaping products
  • Do not agitate the site with your tongue
  • Rest with your head inclined (i.e., not flat on your back)

You may drink water in the hours after surgery, but take every effort to avoid a sucking or swishing movement in the mouth. If you need to rinse your mouth, try to do it with your mouth slack, over a sink, and keep a washcloth handy to catch your drool. Drooling is actually something you want to do after an extraction(!), as the alternative may prevent a clot from forming.

If you are worried about an upcoming extraction with Lake Lanier Smiles, rest assured you are in good hands. Contact our Buford, GA dental practice at 770-831-0559 if you have any questions before your appointment.

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