The concept of having a tooth pulled can be a scary and daunting one to consider, especially if it’s one you or your children are having to face. Tooth extractions are a common occurrence, and one that our professionals at iSmile Orthodontics are well experienced in. If you’re apprehensive about an upcoming tooth extraction, or are just looking for more information, here are some handy tips to keep your mind at ease.
Why you might need an extraction
Tooth extractions – in children or adults – can be necessary for a number of reasons, often involving the way a tooth is growing in. If the tooth itself is damaged or severely decayed beyond repair, the easiest solution is often to remove it. Other reasons can include severe gum disease, or teeth that are impacted, like wisdom teeth, and prevented from growing through. This can include baby teeth that are removed to make way for the adult teeth to grow through properly.
One of the most common reasons for tooth extraction is overcrowding. Although you may have the normal number of teeth, the spacing of teeth may take up a smaller area and result in a ‘crowded’ appearance in your mouth. This can become uncomfortable and difficult for cleaning and hygiene practices, so we’ll remove one or two teeth in order for the rest to realign themselves. It is good practice to extract the tooth or teeth in younger patients as the teeth will be more adaptable to grow into a more spaced out position, and our iSmile Orthodontics professionals can closely monitor the progress.
How to prepare
To make sure your oral surgeon is up to speed with your medical and dental history, you or your child will need to fill out any forms that outline current and past medications you take or have recently taken, as well as those you are allergic to. This is to ascertain which medications will be most appropriate for during or after the surgery.
In order to prepare you or your child for the surgery, you will have a consultation beforehand to discuss everything in your paperwork, any concerns or questions, and outline the procedure. Then, you will be taken for an x-ray to examine the area, tooth or teeth, and surrounding nerves to confirm there will be no damage to vital parts.
If the tooth is visible and easy to remove, you or your child will have a simple local anesthetic to numb the area before extracting the tooth. The process is swift and painless, with little bleeding after. After biting down on some gauze for 20 minutes or so, you will be free to go home with some aftercare information.
For an impacted tooth or more complicated situation, sedation under IV may be required in order to make an incision in the gum to remove the tooth. Any medications can also administered via the IV.
There will be some bleeding after the surgery, which some fresh strips of gauze will take care of. When at home, you’ll be advised to hold ice packs to the extraction site to heal any swelling or discomfort, which should go down after three to five days. For any pain or swelling, simple over the counter pain medication will be fine. Soft foods are advised for the first 24 hours, and a normal brushing routine can continue, avoiding the area of the extraction.