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How to Prepare for a Tooth Extraction

July 6, 2022
Posted By: Amber Schmidt
Tooth Extraction


Remember when it was so exciting to lose a tooth as a child? Losing a tooth was like going from kindergarten to first grade.  Additionally, you'd often receive a financial reward from the tooth fairy!
It's not so glamorous to lose a tooth as an adult.  Instead of receiving high-fives and money, you are met with gloved hands in your mouth and discomfort.  
It can be stressful to have your tooth extracted, but if you're fully prepared for the procedure beforehand, you'll find it easier. A dentist in Parker CO will be able to provide you with guidance regarding tooth extraction. You need to follow a few steps to prepare for this procedure. 



Ask Questions 

Ask a question if you have one! If you see an oral surgeon or dentist about a dental procedure, prepare a list of the questions you want to ask. It is your chance to ensure you fully understand the tooth extraction procedure. 
You should never feel silly for asking a question. It is the dentist's job to make sure that you are comfortable. After all, it is your mouth that is being operated on. You deserve to know all the details of the procedure.

Detailed medical history

It is important to share your medical history before your procedure. Be sure to include all pertinent information. 
It is necessary to share some specifics, including:

  • The history of bacterial endocarditis
  • Deficiency of the heart at birth
  • Any mechanical or biological heart valves
  • Symptoms of liver disease
  • Replacement joints made from artificial materials
  • Immune system impairment

Infections can be more likely to occur when a patient has these conditions. 
Also, it is important to include a complete list of current medications so that the dental provider can avoid any possible drug interactions.  During an appointment, your dentist may suggest you cease taking blood thinners if you are taking them. This will decrease the chance of bleeding during the procedure. Blood thinners may also prolong healing after the procedure has been completed. 



Painkillers and Anaesthesia


You will likely be given anaesthesia or sedation when your tooth is extracted. You should discuss which substances will be used for your specific treatment. People may already know which type of anaesthesia/sedation works best for them and which types to avoid. Let the doctor know if you've ever experienced any side effects from anaesthesia in the past. 
Your dental provider can develop a medication plan to ensure you are comfortable but not at risk.
As part of the recovery process, painkillers are often prescribed. Make sure your dentist knows what type of painkiller you prefer.  Painkillers can become addictive, so we recommend switching to non-narcotic substances as soon as possible. 

Before surgery, no eating.


Before surgery, you should refrain from eating anything for at least 12 hours. That way, you will be less likely to feel nauseated during and after your surgery. For local anaesthetics, you may not need to fast as long, so be sure to inquire before the procedure. Diabetes and other conditions that don't allow you to fast should be disclosed to the dental provider.  
It is also important to keep in mind that you cannot smoke for 12 hours before your surgery and 24 hours afterwards.  This would be the perfect time to stop smoking completely. Smoking after the procedure will slow down the healing process and place you at risk for a "dry socket," a serious condition requiring urgent medical attention. 



The insurance industry

The best time to fully understand your insurance is before the procedure. Contact your insurance company to find out if you are covered for the work that will be performed. 
 When you are recuperating, the last thing you want to worry about is insurance claims and unexpected bills that you are responsible for paying.  If needed, you should ask your insurance provider for a written description of the procedure and ICD-10 codes to confirm that the treatment will be covered.
Transport and care should be organized.
It is not safe for you to drive home after your procedure. I find it surprising how many people expect to drive themselves home after undergoing anaesthesia. Anaesthesia will impair your reflexes even when you have local anaesthesia. Under no circumstances should you drive while impaired! 
Once the procedure is completed, you should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. You can also hire a taxi or Uber if that is not possible.  
It would be a good idea to take some time off work, arrange for childcare, and ask someone to stay overnight with you. You should also prepare some soft foods so you do not have to worry about cooking. 



How to Dress

For your procedure, it is important to wear comfortable clothing. Comfortable clothes should fit loosely. A short-sleeved shirt should also be worn in case of IV drips. 
The majority of dental providers recommend wearing old clothes. Although doctors and staff will take every precaution, sometimes garments will become stained. 
The following are other things to keep in mind:

  • There is no jewellery allowed
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses
  • Lipstick should not be dark
  • Perfumes and body sprays should be avoided
  • The hair should be pulled away from the face
  • Keep your lips moisturised by carrying some chapstick with you.



How to Care for Your Teeth After Having Them Pulled


Your dentist will suggest eating soft foods after removing your tooth so you won't need to chew or bite anything hard after the procedure.  Smoothies, yoghurt, and protein drinks are all great options.
Once the anaesthesia wears off, you may not be able to feel your tongue or cheeks.  YOu should avoid drinking through straws, rinsing your mouth out, or forcing yourself to spit. All of these can lead to dry sockets.
You'll need to take it easy for one to two days following the procedure. If you lie down, keep your head elevated with a pillow. Take painkillers as directed by your dentist and avoid brushing the extraction site.
You can expect some swelling, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should contact your physician immediately:

  • A feeling of shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Swelling or bleeding that is severe
  • Having a fever or chills
  • Vomiting or feeling sick

Each of these symptoms indicates a potential infection, which must be addressed immediately. 


Don't be stressed

We are aware that most people are nervous about having their teeth extracted. Our experience as dental providers allows us to fully understand what's involved with removing teeth safely and efficiently. We aim to ensure that your experience is enjoyable and will guide you through every step. Please feel free to contact Front Range Smile(The Parker Dentist) with any questions about tooth extractions or to schedule a consultation.


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