How Should I Prepare for a Tooth Extraction?

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At some point, most of us will require a tooth extraction. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed, and sometimes other teeth must be extracted due to damage, infection, or other causes. An extraction is sometimes performed in the dentist’s office under local anesthetic, but in other cases requires an oral surgeon and general anesthesia.

Preparing for an Extraction

If you will be undergoing general anesthesia, your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to prepare. This will probably include fasting for a few hours before the procedure to prevent distress to your stomach from the anesthetic. If your dentist or oral surgeon will use sedation, you might need to fill a prescription and take a sedative pill a short time before your appointment. You should also be sure you have someone to take you to the dentist and then back home, since you might not be comfortable driving.

Be sure to have soft and liquid foods available to eat for a short time after your tooth is removed. You’ll need to avoid using a straw, as well, to prevent dry socket. You should have salt on hand to mix warm salt water to rinse with according to your dentist’s instructions. If you have any questions about what will happen before, during, or after the extraction, be sure to ask your dentist or oral surgeon.

After Your Tooth Extraction

After your tooth is removed, you will probably want to take it easy for a day or two while your mouth heals. Your dentist will supply instructions for how to take care of your jaw and prevent dry socket. These instructions will include:

  • Use gauze to control bleeding
  • Use heat and/or cold to control swelling
  • Take your antibiotics and pain killers as instructed
  • Avoid using a straw
  • Eat only soft foods for a day or two
  • Rinse with warm salt water

Call your dentist right away if you experience any unusual symptoms, particularly if you begin to run a fever, experience unusual discomfort or bleeding, or see any signs of a possible infection.

Call the office of Dr. Snyder today to set up an appointment with our specialist!