Nervous for Your Extraction? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Prepare

There are many reasons your dentist may advise a tooth extraction. These include severe decay, gum disease, tooth crowding, traumatic injury, and even damage to your bone due to tooth infection. 

Sometimes extraction is advised if your immune system is at risk, like when you’re preparing to receive chemotherapy or an organ transplant. 

The thought of the procedure can make even the most relaxed people anxious, concerned how painful it might be, how long it might take, and what recovery might look like.

Dr. Marlisa Popper, Dr. Jason Popper, and Dr. Howard Popper have performed many successful extractions at the comfortable, state-of-the-art Popper Dental office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. 

Their clinical mastery and compassion are especially welcome if you’re facing an extraction.

Understanding the extraction procedure

There are two types of tooth extraction. A simple extraction requires only local anesthetic administered to your tooth and the gum area that surrounds it.

The straightforward procedure involves gently loosening your tooth, and removing it with a forceps. Fortunately, you feel just pressure, not pain.

A surgical extraction is necessary if you have a partially or fully impacted tooth. This means that your tooth isn’t able to fully erupt or erupt at all through your gums. 

For these procedures, you receive local anesthesia and either intravenous or general anesthesia. Rest assured that if you need general anesthesia, we have a board-certified anesthesiologist right here, on our staff. 

The procedure involves your dentist removing your tooth after making an incision in the gum around it. Sometimes, it’s necessary to remove a bit of bone before your extraction; in other instances, your dentist may need to carefully break up some bone in preparation for extraction. 

Our advice on how to prepare for your extraction

There are things you can do before your extraction that make the experience easier on you and as safe as possible: 

1. Have a conversation about medications

Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications you take, including nutritional supplements, over-the-counter medicine, and prescription medications. 

An example is blood thinners, which inhibit your blood’s ability to form clots. It’s a good idea for patients, if they can, to cease taking them for a period of days before the extraction so it’s easier for your dentist to control your bleeding during and after surgery. 

We routinely communicate with our patients’ physicians, however, to ascertain whether it’s possible for them to take a break from blood thinners or other medications prior to an extraction. 

Another example is bisphosphonates, an intravenous osteoporosis treatment. If you take this, we schedule the extraction before your treatment, as following it up with the extraction puts your jawbone at risk for osteonecrosis, a condition where bone death occurs.

2. Disclose any chronic conditions

Your dentist needs to know if you live with a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, or a compromised immune system. It’s also important to let them know if you have an artificial joint. These conditions and many others impact dental procedures.

Your dentist wants you to be as healthy as possible, and your condition well-treated, before undertaking the extraction. They may prescribe antibiotics before your extraction to make doubly sure you’re not at risk during and after your extraction.

3. Nix the cigarettes 

There are a million reasons to quit smoking, and this is another one. Smoking does many harmful things to your body, from constricting your blood vessels and inhibiting healthy blood flow, to causing slower healing. Smoking can also affect how much anesthesia you need. 

Your body shouldn’t have to deal with these issues as it tries to heal from the extraction. Think of it this way: Maybe prepping for your extraction is the perfect opportunity to quit for good!

4. Have you been sick?

We hope it doesn’t happen, but if you have nausea or vomiting the night before your surgery, or are dealing with cold symptoms, let us know. It may be best to reschedule your appointment.

5. Make it easy on yourself

If you’re receiving intravenous anesthesia, wear a shirt with short sleeves or sleeves that can be rolled up so we can access your arm more easily. Also, don’t eat or drink for 6-8 hours before your extraction.

If you’re having general anesthesia, be sure to arrange for a driver to take you home afterward.

With a bit of preparation, you can make your tooth extraction comfortable, seamless, and stress-free. By the same token, we make sure that you’re fully equipped with aftercare instructions once your procedure is completed, and we welcome your questions. 

Call Popper Dental to learn more about tooth extraction, or book an appointment through our website

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