If you are suffering from tooth decay and a root canal cannot save the tooth, a dental extraction may be necessary. The same is true if you are getting braces or if your wisdom teeth have come in. Tooth extraction can be just one tooth or multiple teeth. When most people think about having a tooth pulled, they immediately worry. The idea of the dentist pulling out a tooth can be scary. If you understand what is involved in a dental extraction, it can help ease some of the anxiety.
Cost Of a Tooth Extraction
The average price of tooth removal is between $75 and $600. The cost of the dental extraction would depend on whether it is a surgical or non-surgical extraction. A surgical tooth extraction would be a more complicated process, and it involves cutting into the soft tissue. If it is a surgical tooth removal, you would need to decide if you are going to be awake for the procedure or if you are going to be put to sleep. Tooth removal while under general anesthesia makes it much easier on you, but it will increase the cost of the procedure. Some dental insurance companies cover tooth removal or a portion of it. Whether general anesthesia is covered would depend on your plan.
Preparing for a Dental Extraction
Before your tooth extraction, your dentist will need to take a complete medical history. There are certain conditions that can make tooth removal dangerous, and you may need to be put on antibiotics. During a dental extraction, dangerous bacteria can get into your bloodstream. This can cause bacterial endocarditis. If you have a heart condition, tooth removal can be dangerous. The same is true if you have diabetes, thyroid disease, and artificial joint, or an impaired immune system. A week or two before your tooth extraction, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent complications.
If you have chosen to have your tooth removal while under general anesthesia, you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight. You also cannot smoke cigarettes on the day of your procedure. If you are going to be under general anesthesia during the procedure, you will need to find a ride home.
If your dental extraction isn’t surgical or if you have chosen not to be put under general anesthesia, your dentist will numb your mouth with Novocaine, and you won’t have any eating or transportation restrictions.
The Healing Process Following a Dental Extraction
After a tooth extraction, whether it is surgical or non-surgical, there is going to be a healing process. After a tooth removal, if you don’t follow the dentist’s instructions, you could suffer from complications.
On average, a dental extraction can take a few days to heal. After your tooth extraction, your dentist will put gauze in your mouth in the area of the extraction. After the tooth removal, you will need to hold the gauze in place for three to four hours. This will reduce the bleeding and allow a blood clot to form. If the gauze becomes soaked with blood, you will need to change it periodically.
After the dental extraction, swelling is common. To reduce the swelling, you should put an ice pack on your cheek for 10 minutes at a time. When the swelling starts to go down, you can stop using the ice. If your dentist gave you a prescription to treat the pain after your tooth removal, you should take it right away. If not, an over the counter pain reliever can help after a dental extraction.
For the first 24-hours after your tooth extraction, there are certain things that should be avoided to make sure that your blood clots properly.
- Avoid vigorous exercise for 24-hours.
- Don’t use a straw for 24-hours.
- Don’t spit for 24 hours.
- Don’t smoke for 24 to 48-hours.
- Don’t drink alcohol for 24 to 48-hours.
If you don’t follow these instructions after your tooth extraction, you could end up with a dry socket. Normally, the blood will clot within the socket. If it doesn’t clot or if the clot becomes dislodged, it is called a dry socket and it can be very painful. To treat the problem, your dentist would need to put a dressing over the socket until the blood clots on its own. To avoid this painful complication, you should follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter. It is the best way to speed up the healing process.
The day after your tooth removal, you should wash rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. You should do this for a day or two. Also, after the extraction, you should stick to a soft diet. You can start eating hard food 24 to 48-hours after the procedure. Finally, when brushing your teeth, you can brush the way you usually would, but avoid the extraction site.
In most cases, your dental extraction should go smoothly. If you experience excessive bleeding, drainage from the incision, severe pain, or a fever, you should contact the dental clinic immediately because these are signs of infection. When your extraction heals, you should feel better than you did before the procedure.