Tooth Extraction

Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal (gum) disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and/or shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.

To avoid these complications, in most cases, the doctor will discuss alternatives to extractions, if possible, as well as replacement of the extracted tooth with dental implants or dental bridges.

The Extraction Process

At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. We also can offer nitrous oxide (laughing) gas for patients who are anxious.

During the extraction process you will feel some pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.

You will feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.

If you feel pain at any time during an extraction, please let us know right away so we can deliver more local anesthetic. Our desire is to make the tooth removal process as easy as possible for every patient.

Sectioning a tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can't expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Care

Bleeding: Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this.

Blood clots that form in the empty socket: This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.

  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Avoid use of a straw, smoking or drinking alcohol, carbonation, or hot liquids for 48 hours.

Swelling: If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 15 minutes and then remove it for 15 minutes. Repeat this cycle as needed for up to 24 hours.

Pain and Medications: You will be given a prescription for pain medication following tooth extractions. If you continue to experience pain even after taking the pain medication, you can supplement with non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Eating: For most extractions, simply make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. A cold liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours. Stay away from carbonated and alcoholic beverages for 48 hours.

Brushing and Cleaning: After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with warm, salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket: A dry socket may occur after an extraction. Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.

Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a deep, dull throbbing pain, which doesn't appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.

If you should experience this, call the office immediately and we will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth the pain.

Healing: After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.

Replacing Extracted Teeth:

  • Dental Implants
  • Fixed Crown & Bridge