Having a tooth extracted is usually a last resort after a tooth has become too damaged or decayed to be preserved. If you're due to have one or more teeth extracted, you may be feeling nervous about the procedure and the aftermath. Rest assured that you'll be numbed very well during the extraction, ensuring that it's painless for you. However, how you act and the steps you take at home will ultimately determine whether you have an easy and painless recovery. Here are three things to keep in mind as you rest up.
Remember Your Medication
A mistake many people make after recovering from any kind of major medical procedure is not taking their medication. Usually, it's either because they missed the window due to sleeping, or because they feel like they're fine and don't need the medication as a result. Unfortunately, both of these can lead to pain, and it's harder to control pain once it's begun than it is to keep it away in the first place.
If you're worried about this, there are a couple of things you can do. First off, set an alarm on your phone or alarm clock for when you're directed to take your medication. Even if you're sleeping then, get up, take your medication, reset the alarm, and lie back down.
Additionally, don't skip your medication even if you're pain-free at the moment. That just means that your last dose of medication or the Novocaine you were numbed with at the dentist is doing its job, but it won't last forever.
When a tooth is extracted, a blood clot usually forms over the incision. This is one of the first steps of recovery and it's imperative that the clot is allowed to stay in place. You probably won't feel it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
Dislodging the clot is very easy if you do something like drink from a straw. The suction formed will simply yank the clot out, which can start the bleeding and recovery process all over again. Skip straws for now, don't smoke, and only eat very soft foods for now. Try to avoid chewing in that area, too.
Finally, if anything feels even remotely wrong to you, reach out to your dentist right away. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it's better to get looked at than to find out later that you were experiencing a problem and didn't get the help when you needed it. If you experience any problems like bleeding, prematurely loose stitches, or a fever, get help right away.
Contact a dentist for more information about tooth extractions.