Tooth Extractions
Tooth Extractions

If a tooth is damaged by decay or fractured and is un-restorable, an extraction is recommended. Extraction is act of pulling a tooth from its socket in the bone.

A simple extraction – This procedure is on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. For a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then the dentist uses forceps to remove the tooth.

A surgical extraction – This is a more complex procedure. When a tooth may have broken off at the gum line or seems very difficult to loosen up in the socket and may need to remove some bone around the root. The dentist will make a small incision into your gum to surgically remove the broken tooth or impacted wisdom tooth.

Local anesthesia is always used, so patients feel no discomfort. However, patients feel pressure during the dental extraction procedure.

Reasons why a tooth needs to be extracted:
  • Damaged, un-restorable fractured tooth or deeply infected tooth
  • Periodontally involved loose teeth
  • Wisdom teeth or third molars extractions
  • Premolar extractions needed for orthodontic
  • Baby teeth that haven’t fallen out on their own
  • Extra teeth, also known as supernumerary teeth
What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction?
Tooth Extractions

Local anesthesia is used to numb the tooth and the gums around it. Dentists have special instruments called elevators to loosen up the teeth in the tooth socket and then forceps are used to extract the tooth.

In some instances, like if a tooth is impacted or hard to elevate, then a small incision is made in the gums next to the tooth. A small amount of bone is removed which helps in elevation of the tooth and pulling it out of the socket. Of course, patients never feel anything due to the amount of numbing or anesthesia used.

Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions.

Depending on the dentist’s judgement, sutures are given but extraction sockets can be closed without them.

What Happens After the Tooth is Extracted?

After an extraction, a blood clot is formed in the tooth socket, therefore it should be left undisturbed.

Pain or soreness is expected after the extraction, which can be controlled by taking pain medications.

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics if needed.

After a surgical extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth, swelling is expected. The swelling is generally controlled by taking antibiotics and pain medications.

Dos and Don'ts After an Extraction:

Bite down on gauze for the first 30 minutes. This helps to form a blood clot in the socket.

After 30 minutes, if there is still some bleeding then another gauze should be placed in the socket for another 30 minutes.

  • Do not spit for whole day or rinse your mouth vigorously after extraction. It will disturb the blood clot.
  • Do not drink from a straw because it will disturb the clot.
  • Do not smoke as it inhibits the healing.
  • Apply an ice bag to the affected area immediately after the procedure to keep the swelling down. Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Relax for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Also limit your activity for the next day or two.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dislodging the clot that forms in the socket.
  • Eat soft and cold food, like yogurt, ice-cream, soup, and jello.
  • After 24 hours, gargle with half a teaspoon of salt mixed in warm water. It helps the healing process.
  • Keep up with your oral hygiene by flossing & brushing. Furthermore, make sure to be gentle around the extraction areas.
  • If you have any more questions or complications, please call your dentist