Have you been suffering from tooth pain, rendering you unable to eat or drink without causing extreme discomfort? Are you noticing that one tooth is sensitive to hot or cold sensation, sometimes resulting in a brief but sharp pain? Has your quality of life suffered due to your dental pain, and are you ready to do something about it?
For the majority of people, a dentist’s office is the last place they want to visit. However, in the case of tooth pain, making an appointment with your dentist should be done as soon as possible. Ignoring the pain will only make it worse and can potentially lead to more serious consequences.
Unfortunately, if you are already in this degree of pain, tooth extraction may be necessary. Although this sounds like a scary procedure, you will be numbed by an anesthetic so you won’t feel anything.
Read on to learn more about tooth extraction, the reasons why you might need one, and things you can do to ensure a speedy recovery.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Once your dentist has confirmed that a tooth extraction is needed, several steps will be taken. Depending on your pain tolerance and preferences, you will either be given a local anesthetic to numb the area or put under general anesthesia so you sleep throughout the procedure.
Next, your dentist will cut away any gum or tissue covering the tooth if it is impacted and use forceps to tightly grip the tooth.
Finally, after some gentle rocking back and forth to loosen the tooth from the jaw bone, the dentist will be able to pull down and remove the tooth. To stop the bleeding, your doctor will pack the space with a gauze piece and sometimes even put a few self-dissolving stitches to help close the gap.
What are the Reasons for Extractions?
There are a few reasons for tooth extractions, the most common being infection or risk of infection. Usually, a root canal and antibiotics will be able to remove any decay from a tooth and prevent extraction from occurring, but sometimes this is not the case. Tooth extraction is needed when the infection is too severe and there is a significant risk of it spreading.
Another reason for tooth extraction is to prepare the mouth for orthodontia, also known as braces. Sometimes your mouth is overcrowded with teeth, so to ensure your teeth are properly aligned, tooth extraction may be needed to free up some space.
Tips for Recovery
Once the procedure is complete, there are a few things you should do to ensure you heal quickly and properly. Tooth extraction aftercare is almost as important as the procedure itself, because failure to properly care for the affected area may result in infection.
Immediately after you get home, it’s recommended to take over-the-counter pain medication to help control the swelling and discomfort as the anesthesia wears off.
Also, keep biting gently but firmly on the gauze piece the dentist has put in the extraction space. This will help in blood-clot formation, which will eventually stop the bleeding. Leave the gauze in place for a few hours at a time unless it becomes soaked with blood.
Applying ice to the area for the next few days will also prevent swelling from occurring. Make sure to do this diligently for 10 minutes at a time, and start as soon as you get home. Rinsing with a saltwater solution approximately 24 hours after the procedure will also promote healing and ensure no bacteria build-up occurs at the site.
In terms of what to eat after a tooth extraction, you should have only soft foods, including soup, pudding, and applesauce, for at least the next day or two. As the site heals, you can start to add solid foods gradually. Do not drink from a straw immediately after the procedure as the sucking motion can prevent blood clots from forming.
Scheduling Your Tooth Extraction
If your tooth is in moderate-to-severe pain, and you think a tooth extraction may be necessary, then it’s time to get to your dentist as soon as possible.
However, if you are not satisfied with your current dentist, there’s no need to worry! Here at Dentistry at Consilium, located in Scarborough, Ontario, we are ready to welcome you and take care of all your dental needs.
Give us a call at (416) 296-1080 or contact us online to book an appointment.