Do you remember when you were a kid? And how excited you were to lose a baby tooth? As you’ve gotten older — or, perhaps more accurately, as dentists have gotten involved — the prospect of tooth loss may have become a far less exciting notion. It may even fill you with angst. As a general rule, pulling a tooth is the last resort, but sometimes it’s the right call. If you’ve been scheduled for dental extraction in Crescent Heights, here’s a guide to preparing for the procedure and your full and quick recovery.
Be sure your dentist has a complete and current medical history
Undergoing a dental extraction near you is almost always a complication and infection-free experience, but that depends on your dentist in Crescent Heights having an accurate picture of your medical condition. It’s especially important that your dentist be aware of any conditions that increase your risk of infection or affect your bleeding patterns. Share everything about your medical condition with your dentist in Crescent Heights, including any illnesses, medical treatment, allergies, prior experience with painkillers, prior experiences with sedation, and:
● Any medical history of bacterial endocarditis
● Any condition that suppresses your immune system
● If you have any liver disease or heart defects
● If you have any mechanical heart valves or artificial joint replacements
● A complete list of all medications (in a perfect world, take any and all prescription bottles to your pre-extraction appointment).
Discussing anesthesia and painkiller options
Tooth extractions are usually performed under some level and type of dental sedation. Dental sedation options include (from mildest to most significant): nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation and general sedation. Which option is right for you will depend on your dentist’s review of your medical history, whether you have any personal experience of dental fear or anxiety, the complexity and length of your anticipated procedure, and your prior history with sedation. You and your dentist from Crescent Heights Dental Clinic will develop a sedation-related plan before your extraction appointment.
Your tooth extraction procedure itself will be pain-free. You will, though, experience some pain and discomfort during your recovery period. After all, the procedure is a physically strenuous one, and some soreness and discomfort are completely natural. Discuss your preferences and past experience with painkillers — whether over-the-counter or prescribed narcotic pain medications — with your dentist in advance. Your dentist has a wide variety of pain control medications available and can take into account any adverse reactions or personal concerns about pain control if aware of those concerns in advance.
Some practical considerations
There are a few tips that may seem like common sense and can maybe go without saying. Sometimes, though, the things that “go without saying” really should be said:
● If you’re going to rely on insurance benefits to pay for your procedure, make all appropriate inquiries and arrangements in advance (rather than in the “afterglow” of your surgery)
● You will not be able to drive home after your surgery. Be sure to have a ride home arranged in advance
● For the first couple of days after surgery, you should rest as completely as possible. To make that possible, arrange for a day or two off of work and for support to take over any child or elder-care responsibilities you might usually have
● When getting ready for your extraction, be sure to wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing with a short-sleeved shirt (and ideally not something you’re concerned about becoming stained.) That wardrobe will ensure you’re physically comfortable and give your surgeon the freedom necessary to ensure you get the treatment you need.
One last tip, which really should have been the first tip. It may be the most important. Take all the time you need to ask a dentist near you all the questions you have, and to get all the answers you need.