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Everything You Need To Know About Dental Extractions

Older woman in a dentists office smiling into a handheld mirror

When it comes to caring for teeth, a dentist’s first goal is to try and do whatever it takes to maintain the health of a tooth. Unfortunately, this is not always possible and a tooth extraction may be necessary to prevent damage to the surrounding hard and soft tissue or infection from spreading.  Patients often have many unfounded fears that could be addressed prior to their appointment and thus alleviate their anxieties.

What Necessitates A Tooth Extraction?

Tooth decay, disease, and trauma are all possible reasons why an extraction might be needed. In the case of tooth decay, if damage to the tooth reaches the pulp where nerves and blood vessels are, and traditional treatments such as root canal are not able to cure the issue, removing the tooth will prevent further damage. In cases of disease or trauma your dentist will closely examine the tooth and determine the best course of action to take given the circumstances.

In other instances, overcrowding might occur in the mouth which can cause problems with alignment leading to crooked teeth which can cause their own issues. Your dentist will be able to spot overcrowding and may advise a tooth extraction to prevent complications happening later. Overcrowding or other factors may make it difficult for teeth to erupt past the gumline and in those cases your dentist may advise in favor of extracting that tooth as well. The most common type of tooth removal is wisdom teeth removal.

Is The Procedure Painful?

During your surgery local anesthetic will be injected to the area to numb the gums and prevent pain. If you have dental phobia or are sensitive to pain, you should speak to your dentist to inquire about different levels of anxiety and pain management.

Simple vs. Surgical Tooth Extraction

In most cases, dental extraction is performed by gently rocking the tooth in order to loosen it allowing for a simple extraction. This can be performed under local anesthesia in which patients will not feel pain but rather only the pressure of the dentist removing the tooth. Conversely, a surgical tooth extraction may be needed if the tooth is hard to remove. In these situations, the dentist will need to reposition gums, remove bone to access the tooth, and remove the tooth in pieces. During a surgical extraction it is more likely that the dentist will provide you with sedation dentistry options including nitrous oxide anxiolysis or IV sedation.

Is Tooth Extraction Dangerous

A tooth extraction is a very safe procedure but as with any surgery there are some risks of infection. Your dental team will go over post care instructions and guidelines to make your recovery fast and comfortable. After your surgery a gauze pad will be placed over the extraction site that helps to form a blood clot which works to protect against contaminants and infection. Gauze pads should be changed every 10-15 minutes and it is important to apply pressure to the area to help stop bleeding. You may also be recommended to take antibiotics that will help to mitigate the chances of infection.

How Long Does Tooth Removal Take to Heal?

Recovery from an extraction is typically around 1-2 weeks but can last as long as four while the tissue in the area works to fully restore itself. It is important to actively practice all post care instructions provided by your dentist in order to speed up the time of recovery. Touching the extraction site, breaking the blood clot, using mouthwash, performing intensive physical activity and more can all create a longer recovery time.

While recovering from a tooth extraction use a homemade mixture of salt and water to keep your teeth clean and avoid foods that are hard, sticky, or otherwise difficult to chew. If you do use over the counter painkillers, be sure to avoid aspirin as this is a blood thinner which will slow down clotting and instead use ibuprofen or tylenol.

To help combat any swelling you may experience you can place an icepack on the outside of your mouth at the extraction site for about 12 minutes at a time.

When it is time to brush your teeth, it is important to avoid brushing the surgical site because the bristles of your toothbrush can open up the blood clot and slow the healing process. When brushing, focus on the other teeth and brush your tongue to get any bad breath or taste out of your mouth.

If you experience any complications during your recovery the team at Dental365 is ready to help! Our trained dental professionals offer support as needed following any dental procedure.

Schedule an Appointment with Dental365

If you are experiencing tooth pain and require tooth removal, our convenient hours can help accommodate your urgent request. The skilled dental professionals at Dental365 want to help. Call us today at or request an appointment through our website at any time.


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