Tooth Removal: What To Expect!

Tooth Removal

If a tooth is too damaged or decayed for a repair then your dentist will want to remove it. Removing a tooth requires removal from the socket or jaw bone. There can, also, be other reasons why a tooth is removed that don’t involve damage or decay. For instance, if you have too many teeth for your mouth, if they are blocking a tooth that is coming in or if room for a tooth needs to be made, are just some of the other examples of tooth removal.  Here are some things you should know before you have a tooth removed!

What You Should Know!

There are two different types of tooth removal. The first is called a simple extraction. Simple extractions are where the dentist uses a tool called an elevator to lift the tooth from the socket. Then the dentist will use forceps to remove the tooth from the mouth. The second type is called a surgical extraction. Surgical extractions  are more involved and usually require an oral maxillofacial surgeon. Surgical removals most often are done on broken or impacted teeth.

Simple extractions are performed by a dentist and usually require a local anesthesia. Surgical extractions require a general anesthesia and sometimes other medications to help heal. Either way during a tooth removal, you should only feel pressure, no pain.

What You Should Do!

There may be some discomfort after a tooth removal. Surgical extractions may require pharmaceutical pain medications, whereas simple extractions can tolerate pain relievers containing ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin. Either way your dentist or doctor can recommend or prescribe a pain reliever that will suit your needs. Be sure to follow the dosage advice closely.

Using an ice pack and eating soft cool food after extraction will help to ease the discomfort. Ice packs should be used for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off the affected area. Once swelling subsides you can use a warm compress to help ease a sore spot or jaw.

Be sure to rinse your mouth with warm salt water and do not brush your teeth. Also being careful not to suck with a straw is important. Using a straw may cause the blood clot from the removal to break off.

if you required stitches be sure to check with your dentist or doctor if they are the kind that dissolve or if you need to come back in for removal. Either way its usually around two weeks before they dissolve or need to be removed.

What To Watch Out For!

Be sure to call your dentist if you have the following reactions after you leave his office:

  • Swelling increases
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Fever, Chills or Redness
  • Oozing blood after the first 24 hours
  • Numbness of chin, tongue or cheek 3 to 4 hours after procedure
  • The extraction site becomes very painful (dry socket)

As with all dental/medical procedures be sure to follow your professionals advise and instructions, and be sure to ask any questions you may have before the procedure.


For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.




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