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10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030

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What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction

Do you have anxiety about going to the dentist? If so, you’re not alone. The noisy tools, sharp objects, and the uncertainty about what could happen cause many people to fear a visit to the dentist. Having a basic idea of what you can expect when you go to your dentist’s office can help ease some of the anxiety and fear you may be experiencing.

One of the most feared dental procedures is a tooth extraction. Seeing a dentist in Fairfax who knows how to keep you educated on what will happen throughout the procedure, how to prepare for it and what to expect afterwards can eliminate most of your fear. Your dentist should also be able to help you understand the overall financial cost of a tooth extraction.

A tooth that is loose, damaged or broken may need to be removed via a tooth extraction. This procedure consists of your dentist taking a tooth out of the bone socket. Once your dentist has determined that an extraction needs to take place, he or she will help you understand what to expect before, during and after the procedure.

Before your extraction occurs, your dentist will take an x-ray so that he or she can come up with a plan on how to best extract the tooth. Your dentist will also ask you questions about your medical history and determine the best method of sedation to use for your procedure. In the week before your extraction procedure, you will need to notify your dentist if you develop a cold, nasal congestion, nausea or vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, your procedure may need to be delayed.

What to Know Before You Have a Tooth Extraction

You will need to inform your dentist in Fairfax of any medications or supplements that you currently take. The dentist will also need to be informed of any medical conditions that could put you at a higher risk of getting an infection after your extraction. Some of these conditions are:

  • Impaired immune system
  • Artificial joints, such as knee or hip replacements
  • Congenital heart defects
  • History of bacterial endocarditis
  • Damaged or man-made heart valves
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis)

There are two different types of procedures utilized to extract a tooth. A simple extraction is performed when the tooth is visible. Simple extractions consist of the dentist loosening and taking the tooth out of the socket. A surgical extraction is performed when the tooth is located under the gums. Surgical extractions consist of the dentist making a tiny incision in the gums so that the tooth can be taken out.

Local anesthetic is always used for tooth extractions. For some surgical extractions, the dentist may choose to use an intravenous anesthetic. You shouldn’t be able to feel any pain throughout the duration of your procedure. The most you should feel is a little pressure. If you do experience pain, tell your dentist.

What to Know for After You Have a Tooth Extraction

After your dentist in Fairfax has removed your tooth, you will need to bite down on a piece of gauze that will be placed in the tooth socket. This reduces bleeding and allows a blood clot to form at the extraction site. If needed, your dentist will place self-dissolving stitches at the site.

Once you get home, you will need to follow these important guidelines:

  • Rest for a period of 24 hours.
  • Continue biting down on the gauze for a minimum of three hours. Replace the gauze when needed.
  • Use ice every 10 minutes.
  • Keep your head propped up on pillows when you are laying down.
  • Avoid spitting, rinsing or drinking from a straw for at least 24 hours.
  • 24 hours after your procedure, mix 8 ounces of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt and use this mixture to rinse out your mouth.
  • Eat foods like yogurt, soup and applesauce. You can start eating solid foods once the extraction site has healed.
  • Avoid flossing or brushing around the site of the extraction.
  • Follow your dentist’s instructions on the use of painkillers.

You can expect to experience symptoms such as swelling, bleeding and pain after your procedure. However, if you experience any of the below symptoms, you should notify your dentist in Fairfax:

  • Severe swelling, bleeding or pain
  • Chills, fever or other symptoms of infection
  • Swelling, redness or excessive discharge
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain

If you have uncontrolled bleeding, excessive pain, difficulty swallowing, intense swelling, chills, redness or fever, you should contact your dentist in Fairfax immediately.

After your procedure, you will need to eat a diet consisting of foods that are soft and cold. Once the extraction site has healed, you will be able to resume a normal diet. Try to avoid sipping through straws, smoking or spitting. These activities can cause the blood clot at the extraction site to pull away, leading to potentially severe complications.

You can expect your extraction site to fully heal within one to two weeks. After this has happened, you will be able to return to your normal dental health care regimen.

All About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

A third set of molars frequently begins to come in during the early adulthood years. These are known as wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth. It’s common to remove the wisdom teeth as a preventive measure. However, this procedure is not always a necessary one to pursue. Before you and your dentist in Fairfax decide if your wisdom teeth should be removed, you will need to know the benefits, risks, expense and potential impact on your quality of life.

Some people never have their wisdom teeth grow in, while others have them emerge and never have any problems with them. Another group of people have their wisdom teeth come in crooked or become impacted within the gum line. When this happens, the wisdom teeth should be removed to prevent serious dental health issues from occurring.

Extracting the wisdom teeth as a preventive measure is a heavily debated topic. Some dentists think that it’s necessary to do so to eliminate any problems from popping up in the future. Others think that it’s not worth the expense or risk to do the procedure. The best way to come to a decision is to speak with a knowledgeable dentist in Fairfax.

The American Dental Association (ADA) highly recommends that the wisdom teeth be extracted in the following situations:

  • Tumor or cyst development
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Development of gum disease
  • Infection
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Tooth decay

While you may not be experiencing any discomfort from your wisdom teeth, your dentist in Fairfax may decide that they need to be removed for preventive reasons. This happens due to:

  • Potential for Disease: Wisdom teeth left within the mouth can cause infections.
  • Safety: Some dentists believe that it’s safer to take the wisdom teeth out before issues occur.
  • Age: Taking the wisdom teeth out when you’re younger reduces the risks of complications before, during and after the procedure.

Consult with your dentist in Fairfax to determine if you should have your wisdom teeth extracted.

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(703) 565-2503