Tooth extraction used to be shown in a humorous way on television and in movies – a piece of string and a slammed door. Of course, there are much more efficient – and sanitary – ways of doing that now.
There are several reasons that you might have to undergo a tooth extraction. You could have had a traumatic accident, broken tooth, gum disease, or your mouth might have too many teeth in it, which is a situation that orthodontists sometimes discover when they are trying to plan for braces or Invisalign. Whatever the case, the tooth has to go. How will it happen?
The first thing that the dentist will do is to examine your mouth, take x-rays and see about the condition of the tooth or teeth that need to be extracted.They have various numbers of roots and offer varying amounts of resistance. They will see whether they can do a simple extraction or they may have to go the surgical route. The next step involves having either a local anesthetic or they may even have something that puts you to sleep for a while while they work on you.
Once your mouth has been sufficiently numbed, the dentist will use a pair of forceps to remove the tooth. If it’s a tooth with a single root, they might use something called an elevator to loosen the tooth more before the forceps. Depending on the condition of the tooth, it may come out as one intact unit or it might be broken up into several pieces.
Usually, having one tooth extracted takes about 30-40 minutes. Other teeth will add to the amount of time that you spend in the dental chair. But when it’s done by an experienced dentist or oral surgeon, the process goes by much more quickly since they know how much pressure and what angles to take to get the job done in the most efficient and safe way.
Once the tooth is out, everything is finished, right? No, there’s still the healing process afterward. Fortunately, there are only a few things that you have to do to ensure that everything recovers normally. Chances are good that you already have the necessary items in your home already – and they are very easy to find if you don’t. They are inexpensive, too.
The first thing you need to do is nothing for the rest of the day. Just relax at home. Have some Tylenol for the pain if you need it. Put an ice pack on your jaw for 20 minutes at a time to minimize the swelling. Smoking and drinking alcohol should both be avoided for a while, since both can hamper your healing process. Eat soft foods for a while. Swish your mouth out with warm salt water – this will keep possible infection-causing bacteria out. Avoid using a straw – that can loosen any blood clots.
Any pain that you have should go away after a couple of days. If it lingers or gets worse, contact your dentist immediately. There could be an underlying problem that requires fixing as quickly as possible. This scenario is usually a rare one, but it’s always best to be on high alert. Then you can go back to resuming your everyday life activities.
Of course, the resumption of everyday life also depends on the location of the extracted tooth. If it was a wisdom tooth, then nothing else is needed. If it was one of your other teeth, then you have to have something fill up the freshly-created gap. Otherwise, your remaining teeth will shift, and that can cause problems with your bite and even talking. Your dentist will guide you through what you need. An exception would be for the orthodontic scenario, where the braces or Invisalign would move the teeth into proper position.
Getting a tooth extracted is a fairly routine procedure. Just follow the above steps and you should have an uneventful recovery.
If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and find yourself in need of an extraction, come to US Dental Medical. The staff there can ensure that the entire procedure is a smooth one and that you will heal quickly. Give them a call today to make an appointment to get things moving – 614-252-3181.