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North Point Periodontics
4205 North Point Parkway, Building A, Alpharetta, GA 30022

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What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction

When a dentist tells you he or she needs to pull a tooth, it’s normal to feel anxious. People who haven’t had a tooth pulled recently tend to imagine the worst. They remember old movies where a dentist is yanking away and there is a lot of blood, but things have changed. A tooth extraction today is now virtually painless and very quick.

Whenever possible, a dentist in Alpharetta will not want to pull your natural teeth. The only time they suggest it is when it is essential to protecting your dental health. For example, if your tooth is severely decayed, the infection can spread. You could also have a tooth broken beyond repair that enough of the natural tooth structure isn’t salvageable to make a root canal and crown a viable option. Other reasons for extractions include overcrowding, impaction, or severe periodontal disease.

There are different types of extractions. A patient with a tooth that is visible in the mouth needs a simple extraction. This is where the dentist loosens the tooth with a tool called an elevator and then pulls it out with dental forceps. the dentist will simply loosen the tooth and then remove it with forceps. Impacted teeth, or teeth broken so close to the gumline that your dentist can’t grasp it, need a surgical extraction. He she will have to cut the gum tissue to access the tooth.

Remember, you’re not alone if you fear a tooth extraction or fear visiting the dentist. Many people are afraid of seeing a dentist, let alone of having a tooth a tooth pulled. It’s important to remember that area around the affected area will be numb and you won’t feel any pain sensations. Your comfort is the dental staff’s main concern. Most often, the pain and trouble caused by a tooth that needs to be pulled is worse than the process of pulling the tooth.

Before Having Your Tooth Extracted

Before you’re told you need a tooth pulled, your dentist will have performed an exam and taken a x-ray to plan the procedure. You’ll have to provide a list of the medications you take including those prescribed by your doctor and over-the-counter medicines. Include any nutritional supplements and vitamins as well.

You’ll also have to provide a complete medical history. In particular, your dentist will look for:

  • Liver disease
  • A compromised immune system
  • Congenital heart defects
  • A history of bacterial endocarditis
  • Man-made heart valves
  • Artificial joints

The American Dental Association recommends dentists prescribe anyone with these conditions antibiotics prior an extraction to help prevent infections as your immune system may be compromised. Most dentists will take this preventative measure, so be sure to discuss your options with your dentist if you feel differently.

It’s a good idea to verify your dental insurance to see if it covers extractions. If you don’t have dental coverage you’ll want to ask about the cost so you don’t have any unexpected surprises.

After Having Your Tooth Pulled

After your extraction, your dentist will put a piece of gauze over the socket to help stop the bleeding. A blood clot will form in the socket as a natural part of the healing process. The clot may take several hours to form, but you won’t feel any addition pian or discomfort during this time. You can replace the gauze with one soaked in tepid water if needed.

To help the healing process:

  • Rest for at least 24hours after your extraction with your head elevated.
  • It is better to avoid heavy or strenuous activity and do not try to exercise the same day you get your extraction. It will be best to give your body time to rest and heal.
  • Don’t use a straw for at least 24 hours even if you think it will help the site. Using a straw risks dislodging the blood clot that is forming.
  • Don’t rinse or spit for several days as this may put additional pressure on the wound in your mouth.
  • Use icepacks ae directed to reduce swelling and ease the pain. Do not keep them on for long periods of time as this may prevent healing and harm your skin.
  • Take painkillers are prescribed by your dentist. Also, if you received a prescription for antibiotics be sure to take it following the directions of your dentist. This can help with healing and prevent infection which is a very serious problem.
  • Use a salt water rinse as prescribed by your dentist to keep the area clean and promote healing.

You can start by eating soft foods when you start healing. Chew on the other side on your mouth. Eating nutritious foods will help you heal more easily.

Rarely, complications arise. If you notice any of the following, call your dentist right away:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Intense swelling
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Extreme pain

Why Would I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth, our third set of molars, are notoriously troublesome. They appear in our early teens to mid twenties, but few of us have jaws large enough to accommodate them. Our ancestors needed them, but we don’t. There are some fortunate people who don’t have any wisdom teeth waiting to emerge in their late teens to early 20s, but many of us have difficulties with them.

Sometimes, wisdom teeth get trapped (impacted) within the gums. If they can’t emerge normally, it can result in infection or create a cyst. This can damage nearby teeth and their roots. Teeth that partially emerge, but can’t come out all the way will also cause problems for nearby teeth. Of course, some lucky people have their wisdom teeth come in straight and positioned correctly. If they can keep them clean, there is no need to remove them.

Unless you have a tooth removed due to overcrowding or it is a wisdom tooth, your dentist will talk to you about replacing the tooth. Even one missing tooth in your mouth can affect your speech and chewing ability. Fortunately, there are several options in different price ranges to replace a lost tooth.

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North Point Periodontics

4205 North Point Parkway, Building A, Alpharetta, GA 30022

(678) 951-8356