Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in US adults. As the disease eats away at the bone in your jaw, your teeth become loose. In some cases, adult teeth may fall out on their own once the disease progresses, especially if you don't see a dentist for the problem. However, if you have visited a dentist for the condition, they may have recommended tooth extraction. Having your teeth extracted will allow the dentist to fit you with either dental implants, or removable dentures as part of the treatment for periodontitis. If your dentist has scheduled an extraction for you, it's important that you prepare for the procedure. Here are four important steps you should take when faced with a tooth extraction.
Talk to Your Dentist About Medical Conditions
If you're going to have your teeth extracted, you need to tell your dentist about any medical conditions you have. Some pre-existing medical conditions can cause delays in the healing process and can lead to complications during – and after – the procedure. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, you need to let your dentist know prior to having your teeth extracted.
Bring Along a Buddy
If you're going to receive sedation for the procedure, you'll need to bring a buddy along with you. You're not going to be in any condition to drive yourself home once you've had your teeth extracted. Not only that, but if you receive prescriptions for pain relievers or antibiotics, your buddy will be able to pick them up for you.
Prepare the Ice Packs in Advance
Your jaw is going to be sore after the procedure. Ice packs can relieve the pain and discomfort associated with extractions. Don't wait until you get home to get your ice packs ready. Instead, make a few packs before you head to the dentist. First, grab two or three 1-gallon resealable plastic baggies. Second, fill each baggie with 2-cups of water and 1-cup of rubbing alcohol. Finally, place the baggies in the freezer until you need them. You can refreeze your ice packs as often as necessary.
Follow Your Post-Operative Instructions
Your dentist is going to give you plenty of post-operative instructions after the procedure. To speed up your recovery time, and prevent complications, make sure you follow those instructions. If you notice problems such as excessive pain or bleeding, or you develop a fever, make sure you contact your dentist as soon as possible.