Adult teeth are not designed to last forever. As you age, your teeth may lose their protective enamel. They also may sustain damages because of your dietary and lifestyle habits including smoking, eating too many sweets, and not brushing your teeth often enough.
When some of your teeth are no longer as strong as they once were, it may be time to have them pulled. You can avoid prolonged damages to your oral health by undergoing extractions at your dentist’s office.
What is an Extraction?
An extraction is a formal name for having a tooth pulled. During extractions, patients are most often given some type of oral anesthetic. This numbing agent prevents people from feeling their teeth being pulled out of their gums.
After you are numb, your dentist will begin the extraction, which can take a matter of minutes to complete. The tooth and roots will be removed completely from the gum. Depending on the extensiveness of the extraction, you may have a few stitches put in to close the hole where the tooth once was.
You can typically go home immediately after your tooth extraction is over. Your dentist may schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure you are healing well if your tooth had to be pulled because of an abscess or infection in the bone.
Healing from a Tooth Extraction
After you are sent home to recuperate from a tooth extraction, it is very important that you follow your dentist’s instructions. The numbing agent should wear off within a few hours after you get home. If it does not wear off after six to eight hours, you should visit the emergency room to make sure you are not having an adverse reaction to the anesthetic.
Your dentist will also tell you to eat a soft or liquid diet for the first 24 to 48 hours after the tooth is removed. If you try to eat hard or crunchy foods, you could rip out your stitches. You could also get food inside of the wound where the tooth once was, causing an infection that will need to be surgically treated.
Another important tip involves not using a straw to drink liquids. The suction of drinking out of a straw will cause the clot in the gum to become dislodged. You could suffer uncontrolled bleeding. You could also develop a painful dry socket in the gum for which there is no treatment.
You can go back to work or school the same day if you feel up to resuming your normal activities after an extraction. You may need to rest for the remainder of the day, however, particularly if you experience pain after the numbing agent has worn off.
A tooth extraction is a relatively simple and common dental procedure that most dentists perform on a regular basis. However, it still requires you to know what it is and how to recover from it. These precautions can help you avoid complications like dry sockets in the gum or uncontrolled bleeding.