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Questions to Ask About Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Having a wisdom tooth extraction is no fun, but it may be better than the alternatives. While there may be many options for treating what ails you, there are also many reasons a person may decide, along with a trusted dentist's advice, to have this procedure done. Tooth pain, gum infection and misalignment are just a few of them.
When treating with fillings or crowns is no longer a viable option, or a situation exists where the wisdom tooth is going to negatively affect the teeth or gums around it, an extraction may be the best — or only — choice to remedy the problem. How does someone determine what the best alternative is?
Questions to ask a dentist when considering a wisdom tooth extraction
The best way for a patient to prepare for a dental extraction or any other procedure is to gain as much information as possible about the how, what and why of the prescribed course of action. Do not agree to anything until all questions and concerns have been answered to full satisfaction. Here are some items for consideration.
1. What are the reasons this particular tooth needs to be pulled, and is there another alternative?
Is the tooth badly infected? Are cysts, tumors or gum disease being complicated by the wisdom tooth remaining in place? Is the tooth causing displacement of the surrounding teeth?
2. Will the procedure be done by the dentist or does it require an oral surgeon, and where will it take place?
Will the dentist pull the affected tooth in their office? Is it a more complicated effort that requires an oral surgeon and a surgical room or hospital? Will general or local anesthesia be used? How long do the effects last? What are the possible side effects? What are the possible complications?
3. What can one expect following a wisdom tooth extraction?
Will it be necessary to stay in the hospital or surgical center overnight? Will childcare or pet care need to be arranged for? Will it be necessary to have someone drive the patient home afterward? How much time should be taken off from work? Should restrictions on lifting or other activities be expected for a time?
4. What will happen during the procedure and how long will it take?
Is the surgery expected to take an hour or much longer? Are there any concerns with medications being used, or should some be discontinued until after the extraction?
5. What can be expected during the healing process?
Will there be a lot of bleeding, and how can it be handled or controlled? What foods or drinks should be avoided? Will a prescription medication be given to control pain? Will there need to be a follow-up appointment?
Once the decision to proceed with the extraction has been made, patients should do everything in their power to adhere to the dentist’s recommendations for how to prepare for both the procedure and the healing period afterward. This helps ensure that a better result can follow.
While a wisdom tooth may not make a person wiser, asking the appropriate questions certainly can. With the right understanding and preparation, an extraction can be a good resolution for a difficult or painful dental situation.
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