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How To Prepare For A Tooth Extraction

Dental hygiene is an essential part of your overall health. Poor dental hygiene can cause many oral challenges, like cavities and gum diseases. However, though you might do all that it takes to take good care of your teeth, sometimes you might experience these issues, thus forcing you to remove one or more of your teeth.

Though your doctor won’t recommend tooth extraction as the first solution, sometimes it’s necessary to remove the tooth, especially when it has been compromised beyond repair. However, to ensure you’ve gone through a smooth tooth extraction process, it’d be a good idea to seek tooth services from a qualified and reputable physician.

This article has all that you need to know about teeth extractions. You’ll learn what tooth extraction is, how to find a good physician, and how to prepare for tooth extraction. Read on to get enlightened.

What Is Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is the practice of completely removing one or more teeth from the dental alveolus or socket. This procedure can be done to any person, regardless of their age, by a dentist or an oral surgeon. However, milk teeth can be pulled from children’s mouths without physicians’ intervention because they loosen naturally.

So, any parent can help extract milk teeth from their children. A dentist or an oral surgeon is a physician with special training and is qualified to do oral surgery and related health problems.

man getting dental exam

When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Though permanent teeth were meant to remain in one’s mouth for a lifetime, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you can try to repair your tooth in vain. If that’s the case, you’ve got no other option other than to extract it. There are many circumstances when teeth extractions are necessary. Some of these scenarios include the following.

Severe Decay

In most cases, tooth decay is caused by bacteria. If not addressed, the bacteria can invade the pulp, which is the tooth’s center, thus causing more damage.

Small tooth decay can be addressed by performing a root canal procedure, which helps treat the infection or the decay. However, if the infection is severe, you can extract your teeth to get rid of the infection quickly or prevent the infection from spreading.

When You Have Gum Disease

In most cases, gum disease is caused by bacterial infections. It is a health condition that affects the gum and the bones and supports the teeth. If your gum and bones have a bacterial infection, they won’t be able to support your teeth, and therefore your teeth might loosen.

Gum disease can go unnoticed in some instances because it doesn’t cause pain. However, your gum might bleed during the early stages and eventually stop as the disease progresses to higher stages. To prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth, it’d be a good idea to extract the infected tooth.

When Involved in An Accident

Sometimes you can slip and fall or go through any other kind of accident, thus breaking your teeth. If that happens, you need to find a solution to your broken teeth as soon as possible.

When you go to a dentist, they’ll advise you on the best course of action. For instance, if your teeth can be repaired, they can recommend restoring your teeth using dental bonding, dental crowns, or dental veneers. However, if your teeth are seriously damaged, and nothing can be done to repair them then, tooth extraction is necessary.

When The Cost to Repair Teeth Is Too High

In some cases, the cost of restoring a tooth to its original condition can be too high for most people to afford. For instance, you may want to do a root canal to your tooth, only to be told that you must cough up thousands of dollars. So, if you’re in a situation where you can’t afford to repair your tooth, you can consider extraction, then replace it later on when you’ve got enough funds.

Overcrowding Teeth

Overcrowding of teeth occurs when there’s an abnormal lining of teeth in the mouth. Ideally, this problem can be corrected by the use of teeth braces. Braces help align the teeth and bring them to their correct positions.

However, if there are too many teeth than the normally required number, then there might not be enough space in the mouth for all the teeth to align properly. If that is the case, you might need to extract a few teeth. Removing some teeth helps the remaining ones to align properly to help you get the desired appearance.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are molars that come in during the teenage and are the last ones to appear in the mouth. In other words, wisdom teeth appear in the mouth after all other permanent teeth have appeared.

Due to their position, most people find it difficult to clean them. Some food remains can stick on these teeth, thus providing bacteria with a hiding place. These bacteria can infect your teeth, causing them to decay. The best way to deal with wisdom teeth decays is through extraction.

In addition, some wisdom teeth may partially erupt or get stuck in the gums. This also attracts bacterial, which causes infection and decay. Such teeth are considered as impacted, and this condition can only be rectified through extraction.

woman holding tooth after tooth extraction

What Are the Major Types of Tooth Extractions?

There are two major types of tooth extractions: simple extraction and surgical extraction, as explained below.

Simple Tooth Extraction

Simple tooth or dental extraction is quite a straightforward procedure. It involves the removal of teeth that are visible in the mouth and can get pulled. In other words, a simple extraction is a tooth removal technique that can be done without necessarily accessing the tooth below the gum line.

A dentist uses simple tools in this method, such as elevators and dental forceps. The role of the elevator is to loosen the tooth. On the other hand, the work of the forceps is to get hold of the tooth and move it forth and back until it loosens. Simple tooth extraction is suitable for conditions like fractured tooth or tooth that can’t be repaired by performing root canals or cavity fillings.

Surgical Tooth Extraction

Surgical extractions are performed to remove teeth that are partially or fully impacted in the gums. That’s why this method is also known as impacted tooth extractions. Apart from impacted teeth, surgical extraction can be suitable for teeth that may fragment during their removal.

Because the tooth isn’t visible, a small incision is usually made into the connective tissue surrounding the tooth. This allows the dentist to access and locate the impacted tooth. After accessing the tooth, a dentist uses special tools to cut it into pieces before removing it one piece at a time.

How Can You Prepare for Tooth Extraction?

There’s no doubt that removing your teeth was fun and enjoyable when you were young. After all, it was a rite of passage, and your parents would reward you for pulling your tooth. However, losing a tooth due to oral health issues isn’t a walk in the park. In addition, the process causes a lot of anxiety and fear regardless of age.

However, with the right information, and proper preparedness, the process can generally get fairly simple. With that said, there are some steps you can take to ensure you’re fully prepared for a tooth extraction. Some of these steps include the following.

Discuss Your Medical History

When you first visit your dentist, it’d be a good idea to tell them about your medical history. Discussing your history with your oral surgeon helps determine other conditions that might impact your overall health. For that reason, you are transparent about what you’re feeling and previous procedures that you’ve gone through.

Some of the medical history you might need to share with your dentist include any liver disease you might have suffered in the past, artificial joint replacements, history of bacterial infections, impaired immune system, and much more. Such health conditions can make you more prone to infections.

Ask Questions

Sometimes you might be in great pain, and all you want is to get your aching tooth removed as soon as you meet your dentist. While that can be a good idea, never fail to ask a question you might have. So, before you go to your dentist or an oral surgeon, make a list of all the questions you intend to ask them. Asking questions is the only way to understand the reasons for your tooth extraction procedure.

In addition, you need to ask your physician about the risks and benefits associated with a tooth extraction. By having your questions answered, you’ll be able to reduce any anxiety and fear you would experience in the process.

Consider Fasting

It’s advisable not to eat anything when going for any surgery, and dental extraction is no exemption. Fasting helps you to avoid developing nausea during and after the extraction process. It also reduces your increased risk of aspiration, a condition of anesthesia that fills the lungs with food materials from your stomach.

Also, you need to stop smoking for 24 hours before and after the procedure. Not only can smoking slow down your healing, but it can also cause other oral complications, like cancer and dry socket.  

Check With Your Insurance Company

Another thing you need to do when preparing for your tooth extraction is to talk to your insurance firm. So, rather than engaging with them after the procedure, the ideal time to talk with them is before you go through the process.

Checking with your insurance ensures you understand what percentage they are going to cater to your medical bills. Understanding such information enables you to make plans about where to get the remaining funds. This also ensures that you’re not cough off guard with huge medical bills that your insurance can’t cover.

Transport And Care

Just like any other surgery, tooth extraction can render you impaired, meaning that you won’t be able to drive yourself home. That’s why you need to organize your means of transport back home early in advance.

So, when going for the extraction procedure, ask a family member or a friend to accompany you so that they can help drive you back home. If no one can drive you home, you can consider hiring a taxi.

In addition, when you reach home, ensure there’s someone who can take care of you. This can be anyone you trust, like your spouse, your mother, or anyone else who can take good care of you and your children if you have any.

How Can You Get the Best Dentist?

While several dentists are out there, not all of them can suit your dental needs. So, to ensure your tooth extraction process goes on smoothly, you need to find the best dentist. Here are some tips to help get the best dentist in your region.

Research The Dentist’s Credentials

To ensure you get the best dental services, ensure your dentist is thoroughly trained and registered with the relevant professional body. To know whether your dentist is registered, you need to research for their credentials. Doing helps you know your dentist’s qualifications and whether they’ve got any history of disciplinary actions or any malpractice claims. 

Get Referrals

Getting referrals involves getting recommendations from people who have had an experience with a particular dentist. After you get referrals to several dentists, narrow down your list and only interview the potential dentists. In addition, as you narrow down your list, be sure to check their credentials and experience.

Reviews And Feedback

Most services have gone online in the modern digital world, and dental services aren’t an exemption. This means that you can meet a dentist online, book your appointment, or interview them online.

However, to ensure you approach the right dentist, you first need to read other customers’ reviews and feedback on the dentist’s website comment section. If you find many positive reviews, then that dentist might be the best for you. This is because if other customers find satisfaction in your preferred dentist, you’re also likely to get better services.

Telehealth Capabilities

Telehealth involves communication between the dentist and patients using telecommunication technologies. This includes using communication tools and techniques, ensuring efficiency, and better services. Though telecommunication can’t replace some face-to-face appointments, it can reduce the number of trips you could make when visiting your dentist.


Implementing preventive measures such as washing your mouth and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups can be the best thing you can do to take care of your teeth. However, if even after taking care, you’re still having health issues with your teeth, your dentist might recommend teeth extraction.

Extraction is the practice of removing a tooth from the mouth by a dentist or an oral surgeon. But before you perform a tooth extraction procedure, you first need to prepare. Preparation for your tooth extraction can help you reduce the anxiety, fear, and stress that comes with the tooth extraction procedure.


About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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