Tooth extraction, or dental extraction, is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. There are many different reasons that a dentist may recommend tooth extraction, and it can be performed on any tooth inside the mouth. It is helpful to understand why a dentist may recommend it and how it can help your long-term…
4 Tips to Prepare for a Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a safe, relatively quick procedure. Still, it’s a good idea to understand the procedure and prepare for it as best as possible. This will make both the procedure and the post-surgical recovery go as smoothly as possible.
Tip one: compile your medical history
The dentist or surgeon performing the surgery will likely want to know your medical history beforehand. This will help them to assess risks and choose the best strategies moving forward. For example, if you are at high risk of developing an infection, the dentist may recommend putting you on antibiotics preventatively before the surgery even begins. Or, if you are on blood thinners, you may need to get cardiologist approval to stop taking them before the surgery so that you don’t bleed excessively. It is essential to be thorough when compiling your medical history so that the dentist has all of the information they need to help keep you safe.
Tip two: arrange your ride home
It is crucial to ensure that you have a ride home after the tooth extraction. This is particularly important if you undergo general anesthesia during the surgery, as it will be unsafe for you to operate motor vehicles for 24 hours due to impaired judgment and reaction time. However, even if you do not undergo general anesthesia, it is still wise to find someone else to drive you. Even if it’s safe and relatively minor, tooth extraction is still a surgery, and you should focus on resting afterward.
Tip three: stock up on foods and liquids before your procedure
After your surgery, you should not eat solid foods for at least 24 hours. This will give your mouth more time to heal and clot without putting unnecessary strain on it. Therefore, it is a good idea to prepare for these 24 hours (if not longer) by stocking up on soft foods and liquids. This can include but is not limited to broths, smoothies, yogurts, puddings, and apple sauces. Any foods that don’t require chewing are great for post-surgical recovery.
Tip four: buy over the counter pain medications
If you don’t already own some, it’s crucial to buy over-the-counter pain medication preemptively. NSAIDs like Tylenol, Motrin, and Ibuprofen are proven to be effective in managing this kind of pain. Your dentist may prescribe some more potent painkillers, but even if they do, you want to be prepared when the prescription wears off in case you’re still experiencing discomfort.
Avoid taking aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner and will delay or prevent clot formation, which will cause longer recovery times and may increase the risk of complications like dry socket (when the clot falls out).
Bonus tip: don’t worry
Getting a tooth pulled is a standard and safe procedure. As long as you follow these tips, as well as any of your dentist’s recommendations, and you get lots of rest after the extraction, you’ll be back on your feet and going through your everyday routines before you know it.
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