At LifeSmile Dentistry, we do all we can to help you preserve all the teeth in your mouth because we know your teeth are essential for speaking, eating, and your overall facial structure. Sometimes, however, it cannot be saved and the tooth must be extracted.
Common Questions about Tooth Extractions
What are some reasons a tooth must be removed?
The dentist will explain your specific reason, but often a tooth will need to be extracted if a wisdom tooth is impacted, a tooth has too much decay to be repaired, you’re experiencing pain in your jaw or perhaps the tooth must be removed because you’re getting braces.
Why am I asked about my medical history?
The dentist will need to know about a wide range of conditions — hypertension, adrenal disease, damaged heart valves, diabetes, etc.—because many types of health conditions need to be stable before you have a tooth extracted. Depending on your medical condition, your primary care physician or specialist might need to give you clearance for the tooth extraction. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed to prevent complications. Remember to bring a list of your prescribed medications, plus over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements to your appointment.
What’s the difference between a simple extraction and a surgical extraction?
A simple extraction is used when the tooth is visible above the gum line. A surgical extraction is used if there is a problem below the gum, like an impacted tooth.
Will I be sedated when my tooth is removed?
That depends on if it’s a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. If it’s a simple extraction, you might only need local anesthesia, like what’s used to fill a cavity. If you need a surgical extraction, you will be sedated. If you are sedated, you will need to have another person come to your appointment to drive you home.
Can I go back to work the day after my tooth is extracted?
We recommend you rest at home for the first 24 hours after the surgery.
What can I eat after the tooth is extracted?
During the first 24 hours after surgery, do not use a straw as sucking on the straw can cause the blood clot to dislodge. It’s natural for a blood clot to form where the tooth was removed.
For the first few days after the tooth has been removed, you’ll need to eat soft foods; such as applesauce, pudding, Jello, etc. Ask your dentist if soup is permitted since you might be told to avoid hot temperatures. You will want to chew on the opposite side of your mouth from where the tooth was removed. And, if you are given pain medicine or antibiotics, do not drink alcohol while taking those medications.
What should I worry about?
We need you to call our office if you experience any signs of infection, this includes fever, pain and drainage from the site of the incision. Also, call us if the pain isn’t decreasing after a few days.