Having a tooth pulled isn’t necessarily something you look forward to, but sometimes, an extraction is necessary to save other teeth, eliminate a dangerous infection, improve your bite mechanics, or protect your oral health in other ways.
While most extractions are simple, other extractions require surgery to remove the tooth and treat the area surrounding it. In either case, being prepared ahead of time can help.
Brandon Kang, DDS, and the team at Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center in Oakland, California, help patients of all ages prepare for extractions with useful guidance before their appointment day arrives. In this post, we review some of the best steps you can take to get ready for your extraction visit.
1. Stop smoking
Smoking interferes with circulation and increases the risk of inflammation — two issues that can have an impact on your healing. Ideally, you should stop smoking a week or more before your extraction, but you certainly should avoid it in the day or two leading up to your appointment.
2. Ask questions ahead of time
Knowing what to expect during and after your extraction can go a long way toward dispelling some of the nervousness you might feel. Asking questions during your consultation appointment before your extraction is great, but if you think of something once you leave our office, remember that we’re just a phone call away.
3. Review your instructions
Before your tooth is pulled, Dr. Kang provides you with instructions to follow. These instructions cover things like if it’s OK to eat before your extraction, whether to take your prescribed medicines or wait until after your procedure, and if you’ll need someone to drive you home. If we need to prescribe antibiotics before your extraction, we let you know about that too.
4. Provide a complete medical history
While most extractions are very straightforward, having a tooth pulled is still a medical procedure, so it’s really important to go over your complete medical history. That includes any medicines or supplements you take, over-the-counter medicines you use regularly, allergies, and underlying chronic or acute health conditions. Some medical conditions can impact the sedation we use, so be sure to include everything.
5. Talk about your sedation options
Speaking of sedation, Dr. Kang offers several options to keep you comfortable. Prior to your extraction visit, ask what options he recommends for you so you’ll know what to expect.
6. Prepare for healing and recovery
Knowing what to expect after your extraction is important too. Before you leave our office, we give you instructions on how to care for your extraction site to avoid dislodging the protective clot. In addition, these tips can help:
- Have an ice pack ready to address swelling
- Keep your head elevated when resting
- Have over-the-counter pain medicines on hand
- Plan to rest for the remainder of the day
- Stock up on ice cream, yogurt, and pudding
- Avoid any hot or spicy foods or drinks
- Don’t rinse vigorously or use straws
- Don’t smoke
Finally, if you have a lot of bleeding or develop a fever or nausea, call our office right away.
Your oral health is our priority
Even though having a tooth pulled can be a wise decision for your oral and overall health, it’s not uncommon to be nervous about the experience. The good news is, Dr. Kang and our team have significant experience in both simple and complex extractions, so you can feel confident in your care and results.
To learn more about tooth extractions including other ways to prepare, book an appointment with Dr. Kang online or over the phone today.