Tooth extraction can be a frightening concept, especially for those who have never had a tooth removed before and are not sure what to expect or those who have had a bad experience with extraction in the past. However, there are various things you and your dentist or oral surgeon can do to help mentally prepare you for the extraction experience and make it less daunting and easier to deal with. Here are some things your dentist can do to help alleviate your anxiety.
Understanding the procedure
One of the simplest (and possibly most helpful) things is to get informed about the procedure. Understanding the process before going through with the procedure will take away the factor of the unknown, which is one of the major causes of anxiety in the first place.
Knowing beforehand what you will be dealing with will help you feel a sense of control and empowerment over the situation because you will not be going in blind. Your dentist or oral surgeon should explain to you the whole procedure, including the before and after aspects. They should also give you the time and freedom to ask any questions you may have. They may also have online resources to offer you.
Your dentist should also clarify why they are recommending a tooth extraction instead of another procedure. This will help you be more confident about you and your dentist’s decision to do the extraction.
Why you may need a tooth removed
There are several reasons your dentist may choose to remove your tooth. Your tooth may be damaged beyond repair due to an abscess or extensive decay, making it necessary to remove the tooth to keep the decay from spreading to other parts of your mouth.
An extraction may also be necessary if your tooth is broken below the gum line. Severe gum disease can weaken the bone structure and make your teeth come loose from your jawbone. If a root canal procedure is needed, it can often be better for your overall health to simply extract the tooth so that toxins and bacteria will not be circulating through your body.
It may also be helpful to bring a family member or friend with you to your tooth extraction appointment. While they will not be able to be with you during the procedure, it can help to know that someone is waiting for you and will be there to help you after the procedure is finished. This becomes even more important if you are going to undergo anesthesia for the procedure. You will need someone to take you to the pharmacy for aftercare supplies and drive you home.
One thing to keep in mind is that extractions are usually brief procedures and may even take less time than filling a cavity or placing a crown. The mouth also heals very quickly, with the recovery period for many extractions being only a few days. Also, remember that having a painful tooth extracted will end the pain you have endured.
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