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What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction

In most cases, your dentist will work with you to help you retain your natural teeth for as long as possible. If an extraction is necessary, working with a dentist in Atlanta can help you to manage the issue and to achieve a healthy and brilliant smile now and in the future. Here are some of the basics of tooth extraction to help you prepare for these procedures.

Why Are Extractions Performed?

If your dentist recommends an extraction, it is usually the result of serious damage to the tooth or decay that reaches into the roots. In some cases, loosening of the tooth caused by gum disease can also lead your dentist to suggest that the tooth be extracted. Dental X-rays will be performed to determine the extent of any decay or damage and to make sure that an extraction is the best solution for your needs.

If it is possible to save your tooth, your dentist may recommend a root canal procedure. This typically involves the removal of the interior structures of the tooth, applying a filling and then putting a crown over the damaged tooth. This can allow you to enjoy greater stability when biting and chewing. If your tooth must be removed, however, your dentist may recommend a dental implant or a bridge to replace the missing tooth and to help you maintain a healthy bite and mouth.

Preparing for Your Extraction Appointment

Your dentist in Atlanta will discuss your dental issues with you during your initial appointments. If an extraction is required, your dental team will provide you with detailed information. You will also need to provide some information on your general state of health and on any medications you may be taking:

  • If you have an immune deficiency disorder, your dentist will need to take steps to protect your health during the procedure.
  • Certain diseases of the liver, thyroid or adrenal glands should also be reported to your dentist. These issues could affect your procedure or your recovery process.
  • Heart problems, including artificial valves, congenital heart defects and other circulatory issues can have an impact on your reaction to anesthesia and your overall recovery.
  • Artificial knees or hips should also be reported to your dentist prior to any extraction or other complex dental procedure.

Certain blood thinners and other medications can also have an impact on the way in which your dentist can treat issues safely. Be sure to fill out all the paperwork and to answer all the questions your dentist asks to make your extraction procedures as safe as possible. Choosing an experienced dentist in Atlanta can help you to feel more confident about the health of your teeth and the procedures required to keep your smile as bright as possible.

Types of Tooth Extractions

All extractions are either simple or surgical. Simple extractions are performed when the tooth can be removed using forceps and specialized dental tools. By contrast, surgical extractions require an incision into the gums and the removal of the roots through oral surgery, which is generally more complex and requires additional training and experience on the part of the dentist.

Preparing for a Tooth Extraction

Your dentist will provide you with detailed information on the right ways to prepare for your upcoming extraction procedure. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to manage any infection and to help to prepare your mouth for your extraction.

You will also need to discuss your plans for transportation and sedation with your dentist in advance. Your dentist in Atlanta will provide you with options that can ensure that your procedure is as painless as possible. If you choose general anesthesia or sedation for your extraction, however, you will usually need to arrange for a ride home after your procedure is complete. You may feel disoriented or uncomfortable in the aftermath of the extraction. Making transportation arrangements in advance can help you to navigate this time more easily.

Your dentist will discuss replacement options for the gap that will be left when your tooth is extracted. These may include implants or bridges that will help your smile to look more attractive and will typically prevent issues with biting and chewing.

Caring for Your Extraction Site

After your procedure, you will usually need to bite down on a gauze pad for a few hours to allow a clot to form. Avoid rinsing or applying any type of suction to the site of the extraction for at least 24 hours following the procedure. You should plan to rest and recuperate for at least a day after your extraction is completed.

Adjusting your diet for a few days may also be necessary. Most dentists recommend eating soft foods for a few days to prevent pressure on the extraction site or the clot. Your dentist may prescribe painkillers to help you avoid discomfort during your recovery. Take these medications as recommended to promote the fastest healing.

If you are planning to receive implants, make sure to keep your follow-up appointments. Your dentist will need to check the progress of your recovery to schedule your implant appointments at the right time.

What to Watch Out For

Excessive bleeding, severe pain or visible swelling are typically signs of an infection or other complication from your extraction. If you run a fever and chills, have shortness of breath or experience nausea after your procedure, give your dental office in Atlanta a call right away to let your dentist know. These issues can be signs of serious issues that require immediate attention to resolve.

If you are looking for dental care in Atlanta, choosing a dentist that can provide you with extractions, root canals and other important treatment options can help you maintain healthier teeth and gums now and in the future.

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