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How Should I Prepare for a Tooth Extraction?

Though most of us hope to keep all our permanent teeth for life, occasionally a tooth extraction is necessary. Extractions can be necessary for a variety of reasons. If you require a tooth extraction, you can help the experience go more smoothly with a bit of preparation. [pullquote]If you require a tooth extraction, you can help the experience go more smoothly with a bit of preparation.[/pullquote]

Getting Ready for Your Extraction

Before you have a tooth extracted, you will discuss the procedure with your dentist. You’ll talk about the reasons why the tooth needs to be removed, as well as any precautions you need to take beforehand and what aftercare will be required. Before the extraction, you should be sure your dentist knows about:

  • Any medications you are currently taking
  • Any systemic disorders you may have
  • If you have any artificial joints or artificial heart valves
  • If you have had bacterial endocarditis

It is important for your dentist to know about these issues in order to ensure that your extraction will be successful and not have unexpected side effects.

You should also ask what kind of anesthetic will be used during your procedure. If you will be under a general anesthetic, you should arrange to have someone pick you up after the extraction is completed.

Taking Care of Yourself after Your Extraction

Aftercare is also very important to ensure you have a successful recovery after your tooth has been removed. You will receive detailed aftercare instructions, which you should follow closely. These instructions could include:

  • Take any medications you have been prescribed
  • Use ice to minimize swelling
  • Bite on gauze to apply pressure to control bleeding
  • Avoid spitting or using a straw
  • Don’t smoke

If you experience any unusual symptoms such as swelling, excessive bleeding, fever, or a general overall feeling that you are unwell, you should see your dentist immediately, as you may be suffering from infection. In addition, if the blood clot that forms in the tooth socket becomes dislodged, come back to our dental office for additional treatment to prevent possible complications due to dry socket.