Oral surgeons recommend extractions for teeth that have been damaged due to trauma or decay, and for teeth that are crowding the mouth or causing other serious problems.
Extractions can be arduous, particularly if multiple teeth are being pulled or if the teeth are impacted, so some recovery time is necessary for the patient. Consequently, scheduling the surgery requires planning, especially for students.
For many teens and young adults, the winter break can be a good time for tooth extraction. Here’s what you need to know to decide if winter break is the right time for your procedure.
What to Expect from an Extraction
Before removing a tooth, your dentist will inject a local anesthetic to numb your mouth and gums near the extraction site. When multiple teeth are being pulled, which is often the case with wisdom tooth removal, the dentist or oral surgeon may use a stronger general anesthetic that will allow the patient to sleep through the procedure.
During the extraction, any gum or bone tissue that covers the tooth will be cut away and forceps will be used to remove the tooth. If a tooth cannot be loosened and pulled away from the jawbone, it may be necessary to break it and remove it in pieces.
Recovery from an Extraction
Immediately following extraction, a blood clot will begin to form in the socket of the removed tooth. In some cases, the dentist may place a few self-dissolving stitches to aid in healing. You may need to bite down on a piece of gauze to stop the blood flow, changing gauze pads as necessary.
Pain medication is often prescribed, and ice may be used to decrease swelling. Patients are typically advised to keep their activity to a minimum, resting and relaxing for a day or two.
Healing Over Winter Break
While many people can resume their normal activities within a couple of days of tooth extraction, some have longer recovery periods.
When more than one tooth is pulled, it can take several days or more to be completely free of pain. Winter break or any other period away from school or college can be a good time for extractions for this reason.
The side effects of anesthesia render the patient unable to drive on the day of the procedure, so it’s important for a parent or guardian to be available. Scheduling a procedure during this time can make this easier, since parents are often able to be home from work during the holidays.
Having the procedure performed during a break also ensures that you have enough time to heal, and gives you the extra time you may need for recovery if you should happen to suffer any complications, such as infection or dry socket.
Here at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we understand that scheduling a major procedure can be challenging for many families. The holidays are a busy time for us, so if your child needs any type of dental procedures, oral surgery or tooth extraction over the winter break, don’t delay ― schedule it today.