No one wants to get a tooth extracted, but in some cases, it may be the only option to treat your smile. Fortunately, by preparing for the procedure and taking proper care of your mouth following the extraction, you can help your body heal properly and get started exploring tooth restoration options as soon as possible. Here’s what you need to know before a tooth extraction.
Ask Your Dentist About Bone Preservation
If the tooth you’re having extracted will need to be replaced—and, in many cases, this is true—ask your dentist about bone preservation.
Bone preservation is when your dentist ensures the tooth socket remains intact to save space for a tooth restoration, such as a dental implant, following the extraction . This is something your dentist can do immediately after extracting your tooth before sealing up the wound by putting a small amount of synthetic or natural bone in the area.
Without bone preservation, it may be more challenging to place a dental implant, especially if you wait to seek a tooth restoration after your extraction.
Prepare for Healing at Home
You’ll be able to go home following your tooth extraction. Depending on the procedure and anesthesia used, you may be able to drive yourself home.
Prepare for resting and healing at home by stocking up on soft foods you can eat for the days following your procedure. Yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, eggs, fish, applesauce, and soups are all good considerations. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, crackers, or nuts after your extraction to protect your smile and ensure your mouth heals properly.
Your dentist may also recommend over-the-counter pain medication for you to take. Ensuring you have this before your procedure can be helpful as well.
Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions
Always follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for healing, and if you have any questions, be sure to reach out to them. Your dentist may recommend medications or prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatories, which can be equivalent or superior to opioids when managing pain .
Your dentist will also advise you not to eat until the numbness wears off from your procedure and ask you not to use straws, to avoid smoking and hot liquids, and be gentle when cleaning your smile.
Be Mindful of Unusual Symptoms
Although rare, complications can happen following a tooth extraction. Be mindful of any unusual symptoms you may develop, such as a fever, severe pain, nausea, or vomiting. These are all signs that you could have an infection and should seek medical help as soon as possible . Fortunately, if you follow your dentists instructions and take medications as prescribed, your mouth should heal fine without any problems.
Do You Need a Tooth Extracted?
If you need to have a tooth extracted, you can help the procedure and your healing afterward go easier by being prepared. And if you need to replace the tooth you’ve lost, don’t wait to follow up with your dentist for the next steps!