Making Tooth Extractions As Easy And Painless As Possible

Fortunately, tooth extractions are far less common today than in the past, thanks to advances in dental technology. However, severly damaged teeth sometimes have to be extracted for the health and comfort of the patient. Today's tooth extractions are safe and relatively painless, and proper planning helps ensure that your breeze through the process and the aftermath with a minimum of discomfort or other issues.  Here's what you need to do to ensure you can help minimize chances of any type of side effects. Following are six things you should tell your dentist before having tooth extraction surgery.

Medications and Supplements

Before any type of oral surgery, you should provide your dentist with a complete list of all medications and supplements you take on a regular basis. Your dentist will need to know if you are taking anything that might interfere with general or local anesthesia. There is also a strong likelihood that you will be prescribed antibiotics for a short period of time, and many medications and supplements contain compounds that can potentially interfere with the effectiveness of certain types of antibiotics -- and vice versa. Your dentist may also prescribe a pain reliever to keep you comfortable during the recovery.

Drugs that may interact adversely with antibiotics include oral contraceptives, muscle relaxants, blood-thinning medication, diuretics, and antacids. Zinc and vitamin A supplements also interact with some types of antibiotics. You dentist will be able to prescribe something that works well with your current healthcare regimen if he or she knows what you're taking.

Other conditions to make your dentist aware of during your pre-surgery consultation include:

  • Any type cardiovascular issues, particularly if your heart valves have been damaged or if you've undergone heart valve replacement surgery
  • Liver disease
  • Immune system issues
  • Hip or knee replacement or other artificial joints
  • Medical history of bacterial endocarditis

Besides providing with a comprehensive list of all medications, including those that are over-the-counter, and supplements, you should follow the pre-surgery instructions given by your dentist to the letter. Do not smoke on the day of the procedure, and let your dentist know immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of a cold, the flu, or a gastrointestinal disorder. It is also important to arrange for transportation back to your home for the when the procedure is over instead of driving yourself -- you may be groggy from the anesthesia for up to several hours following the procedure.

Once You're Home

You should plan on staying home and relaxing on the evening following the surgery, particularly if your dentist has prescribed a pain reliever to make these hours more comfortable.

Once the extraction has been successfully completed and you are back at home, you should refrain from smoking. Because alcohol may interact negatively with any pain medication that you may be on, you should avoid adult beverages. You should also avoid sugary drinks and foods, and do not spit or use a straw for at least 24 hours following dental extraction surgery. If you experience swelling or discomfort, holding an ice pack against the exterior cheek of the affected area will provide you with a significant amount of relief.

Shortly after your surgery, a blood clot will form in the socket where the tooth that was extracted used to be. Avoid doing anything that might dislodge this -- it is a necessary part of the healing process. Go ahead and adhere to your normal dental hygiene routine, but don't brush or floss the affected area.

Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your dentist prior to the procedure. Visit a site like for more information.