Although it might seem daunting and anxiety-inducing, the process of tooth extraction is not as painful or as invasive as it might sound! At London City Smiles, we help countless clients with tooth extraction every year, ensuring that they experience no ill effects from the procedure. So, with that in mind, we explain the procedure of tooth extraction below and what you can expect from the process.
What is tooth extraction?
The best way to describe tooth extraction is that it’s a dental procedure that consists of removing a tooth completely from its socket. Informally, some people refer to tooth extraction as “pulling a tooth”, and people often think it’s more complex than it actually is.
When do you need to consider tooth extraction?
Dentists will seek to save and preserve natural teeth wherever possible, meaning that tooth extraction is often the last resort. It’s preferable to perform fillings or apply dental crowns to problematic teeth, as opposed to extracting them from your gums. However, your dentist might recommend tooth extraction if you have severe tooth decay, a fractured or impacted tooth, or severe gum disease. When you arrange a consultation with your dentist, they will advise if a tooth extraction is the best option for your current circumstances.
How to prepare for a tooth extraction
While the thought of tooth extraction might be a worrying one on the face of it, you shouldn’t be concerned by how this is done.
Remember some key tips: avoid whatever food or drink your dentist suggests for the amount of time they recommend and talk through any concerns with your dentist. Bear in mind that they are professionals who are highly trained to deal with situations like this to quell possible nerves.
How does the tooth extraction procedure work?
The first step is for your dentist to examine the tooth in question and its surrounding areas. The dentist is likely to take x-rays at this stage and will check bone levels to determine how serious the damage is. At this stage, the dentist will make their recommendations based on the condition of your teeth. If tooth extraction is required, the dentist will offer you sedation, which is an important part of the procedure, particularly for people with dental anxiety.
Next, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area around your affected tooth and gum tissue. The dentist will then gently loosen the tooth from its socket before extracting it from your mouth. In some cases, the dentist might have to make incisions in your gums, particularly if the tooth is badly decayed or is broken at the gum line. Once the tooth has been removed, the dentist might finish up with some stitches to aid with healing.
What happens after the tooth extraction procedure?
Once the dentist is finished, they will place gauze over the extraction site before asking you to bite down. This will prevent long-term bleeding and will help a blood clot form. In the first 24 hours after the extraction, you might experience some discomfort, as well as light bleeding, but this is nothing to worry about. The dentist may recommend some over-the-counter painkillers to help manage the pain, but your mouth should be back to normal in a few days.
Aftercare for a tooth extraction
Because of the likely sensitivity in your mouth immediately after having a tooth extracted, you might want to consider a few things. Avoid fizzy drinks, alcohol, smoking, or anything that requires a lot of chewing.
Identifying potential pain and soothing the problem with a cold pack plus resting sufficiently are vital ways to recover quickly without complication.
What foods you can eat after your tooth extraction
It’s not advised to eat anything that will require extensive chewing. Therefore, avoid hard or sticky foods that could harm your recovery. In the immediate aftermath of your procedure, soft or viscous foods, like soup, scrambled eggs, or mashed potatoes can go down well after tooth extraction.
How to manage pain after a tooth extraction
Lots of people attest to over-the-counter pain relief medicine helping subside the potential pain after having a tooth extracted. Tablets like ibuprofen work well for swelling and can help you manage the effects of the procedure.
Plenty of rest and putting an ice pack over your mouth can help too.
Recap: The process of tooth extraction
While the thought of extracting a tooth from your mouth can be anxiety-inducing, the procedure is relatively straightforward. If you think that you might need to extract a tooth from your mouth and would like to discuss your options, get in touch with one of our friendly dentists today by calling 020 7837 2300.
Based in Angel, Islington, the team at London City Smiles are ready to help with whatever it is you require, tooth extraction or otherwise.