A dental tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth.
- Extensive decay
- Broken tooth
- Severe bone loss resulting in a mobile tooth
- Orthodontics (crowding)
- Wisdom tooth / third molar
- Tooth cannot be saved by a root canal or other dental treatment
Tooth extraction is usually performed under local anesthesia. Your mouth is numb so you won’t feel pain or sharpness, but it is common to feel pressure during the procedure. The tooth is elevated and loosened from bone before being pulled out. In some cases, the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces to be removed. Once the tooth is extracted, the gums will close over the socket to cover the exposed area and bone. This early healing occurs in the first few days following the procedure. Bone heals and fills in over a few months.
- Bite down on the gauze provided as a blood clot forms in the socket where the tooth used to be.
- Avoid touching and cleaning the extraction site to prevent dislodging of the blood clot.
- No spitting, straws, or smoking for at least the first 48 hours.
- Do not swish vigorously.
- Avoid strenuous activity.
After the tooth is extracted, there will be a space missing a tooth. As a natural consequence, the surrounding and neighboring teeth will move and drift to cover the gap. The opposing tooth will even push up or down into the space, a process called supraeruption. To prevent or minimize teeth shifting, replacement options for your tooth will be discussed before it is extracted. Common tooth replacement options are bridges, implants, partial dentures, or complete dentures. Your specific situation will be considered to recommend the best option for you.