Tips on How To Prepare for a Tooth Extraction

Tooth Extraction Chester, VA

A tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a permanent tooth. This may be necessary when a tooth has suffered irreparable damage from trauma or decay and is typically done as a last resort. There are two types of extraction procedures, simple and surgical.

A simple extraction is usually performed in a dentist's office and involves a tooth that is visible and mostly intact. A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure required when a tooth is broken or has not yet erupted above the gumline.

How can a patient prepare for a tooth extraction?

The preparation required for a tooth extraction depends on the type of procedure to be performed. Preparation for a surgical extraction is generally more complex than for a simple extraction. The dental professional will provide guidance regarding prep for the specific procedure that the patient will undergo. The patient should give precedence to this guidance, which is likely to include the following six steps.

1. Have X-rays taken

X-rays are necessary for the dental professional to plan the extraction. The patient's regular dentist may take the X-rays and pass them on as needed.

2. Arrange for transportation following the procedure

Following a surgical tooth extraction, a patient may be in no condition to drive due to pain and other factors. Patients are usually recommended to arrange for someone else to drive them home from the clinic following the procedure for safety's sake.

3. Provide medical history

The dental professional performing the extraction needs to know the patient's complete medical history. This includes all medications that the patient takes, especially anticoagulants that could cause uncontrolled bleeding, and all medical conditions, especially those that could put the patient at risk for postsurgical infection.

4. Plan what to wear

A patient should not wear jewelry, makeup, body fragrances, or contact lenses to surgery. Occasionally, staining of the clothing may occur during the procedure, so the patient should wear something old so that the possible damage is inconsequential. Clothing worn to surgery should be comfortable and loose-fitting, preferably with short sleeves. Long hair should be pulled back from the face.

5. Receive and follow pre-procedure guidance regarding food and medication the night before

To prevent nausea or vomiting during the procedure, patients may receive instructions to fast for at least 12 hours before surgery, meaning no food and no liquids. Patients may be allowed to take medications as scheduled or asked to refrain from this before surgery. Specific guidance should always be followed.

6. Know what to do after surgery

The dental professional typically discusses post-surgical care with the patient prior to the extraction. This gives the patient a chance to prepare. The patient may receive aftercare instructions about post-surgical nutrition, oral hygiene, pain control, and the signs of complications to watch for.


The preparation for a simple tooth extraction is different from surgical extraction prep. In either case, it is important that the patient closely follow the instructions provided so that the procedure can proceed smoothly and successfully.

Request an appointment here: or call Chesterfield Dentist at (804) 412-0867 for an appointment in our Chester office.

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