The thought of having tooth extraction can sound a bit daunting. However, it’s a routine procedure and there is nothing to fear when done by an experienced hand. Extraction is usually the last step taken required to prevent a cracked or decayed tooth from causing further damage. It is also the measure taken to prevent future trouble from occurring due to crowded or impacted wisdom teeth. To help you have more peace of mind we wanted to share how it usually works.

What comes first?

The first step is to have a radiographic examination (X-ray). This allows your dentist to see your tooth’s exact position and assess if there may be future complications. If your dentist suspects that a tooth extraction will be needed he or she will view your medical and drug history. This is done in order to evaluate your general health and establish your anesthesia options. A simple tooth extraction may be preformed with local anesthesia, like a numbing shot, with or without additional sedation such as nitrous oxide or oral medication. If the situation is more complicated or multiple extractions are required the best option may be conscious sedation that is administered directly into the bloodstream (intravenously). Once you have been anesthetized, the dentist can then safely remove the tooth. A lot of people are under the impression that teeth are anchored to the bone but that is not the case! Your teeth are attached by a series of fibers called the periodontal ligament. Teeth can be easily dislodged when these fibers are manipulated.

After the procedure

After the procedure your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and/or recommend over the counter or prescription pain medication. You should also keep in mind that you will likely have some swelling, which varies depending on the individual. Regularly applying ice to the outside of the cheek and jaw where the tooth was extracted will help manage the swelling.

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