8 Steps to Prepare for an Adult Tooth Extraction

Adult Tooth Extraction | Treasured Smiles Dentistry, LLC
Posted on 01/24/2018

When you think of tooth extractions, you may picture a child's first wobbly tooth or the more complex procedure surrounding wisdom tooth removal. However, some adult patients need tooth extractions other than wisdom tooth surgery.

Numerous different causes can necessitate extraction, from advanced decay to invasive tooth trauma that affects the root of the tooth. While extraction can seem intimidating or even scary, this procedure is short and typically without any side effects. In fact, dentists perform most extractions in order to prevent adverse oral health issues.

To ensure that your procedure goes smoothly and that the extraction site heals quickly, you may need to take some steps to prepare. Start with the following eight steps as outlined in this blog.

1. Ask Questions

Your dentist or oral surgeon has completed many extraction procedures. He or she can walk you through the techniques and anesthetics used, expected side effects, and projected long-term effects on your oral health.

If you have any questions, especially if your uncertainty about these questions makes you feel anxious about the procedure, ask your oral health care provider during a consultation appointment, contact the practice, or talk to your dentist or surgeon before the procedure begins.

2. Complete All Pre-Treatment Appointments

You may need to come in for one or more pre-treatment appointments so your dentist can finish all preparations necessary from a medical standpoint. For example, if you had conventional x-rays during your initial appointment but not panoramic X-rays, you may need to come in for the panoramic imaging.

Your dentist may also request that you schedule a cleaning or any routine dental work, like a filling, beforehand in order to facilitate a faster recovery after the extraction.

3. Comply With All Pre-Procedure Medicine Regimens

If you are vulnerable to infection, your dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic regimen for you to take in the days leading up to your extraction. Take this medicine as prescribed to bolster your body's immune response.

Additionally, your dentist may recommend or restrict over-the-counter painkillers on the day of the procedure depending on the anesthetics being used and your medical history. You may also need to stop taking certain medications the day before the extraction. Follow all medicine-related instructions.

4. Disclose Your Full Medical History

While adult tooth extraction is a fairly minor surgical procedure, your dentist should be privy to all relevant information about your medical history before the appointment. You should disclose any medication and vitamins you take, all diagnosed health conditions you have, and if you participate in activities that can affect healing.

All of this information can come into play during an extraction. For example, certain medication interacts with the most common dental sedatives so your dentist will use an alternate. Also, patients with heart conditions must be monitored more carefully, and patients who smoke must refrain from doing so both before and after the procedure.

5. Follow Any Fasting Guidelines Provided to You

Before any oral surgery, you may need to refrain from food and drink for a set number of hours. This step ensures that the anesthetic used works more quickly and completely during the procedure.

In the case of tooth extraction, you will likely need to fast before your appointment. If you have diabetes or take medication that requires food with it, talk to your dentist or surgeon to determine your personal fasting guidelines.

6. Schedule a Ride for the Day of the Procedure

While modern dental sedatives are safer than ever before, you may feel groggy or confused until the anesthetic wears off completely. This process can take several hours after the procedure ends.

Patients experiencing the side effects of anesthesia cannot drive. Please arrange for a friend, family member, taxi, or rideshare driver to take you home after your extraction appointment. You may also want to schedule a trip to your pharmacy as you will likely be prescribed painkillers to use after the anesthesia wears off.

7. Stock Up on Soft Foods

You should be able to eat and speak normally only a few days to a week after an extraction. However, you will want to only eat soft foods that require little chewing during this recovery period.

Stock up on foods like mashed potatoes, smoothies, yogurt, applesauce, and hot cereals for meals after your extraction.

8. Wear Comfortable Clothing to the Appointment

On the day of your appointment, plan to wear comfortable clothing, preferably an outfit that you can wear to rest in when you return home after the appointment.

You should also refrain from wearing excessive makeup, hair products, cologne or perfume, or accessories like jewelry as these items can interfere with the normal process during an oral surgery.

Whether you just found out you may need a tooth extraction or your procedure date is coming up, use the steps listed above to feel calm and confident that you are properly prepared for this treatment.

For expert and compassionate dental treatment, including tooth extraction and placement of dental prosthetics, trust Treasured Smiles Dentistry, LLC.