Understanding the Tooth-Extraction Procedure

Dentist consults with a patient

​So you need a tooth extracted and now you’re panicking? Don’t fret! It’s not as scary as it seems, and many times it’s a fairly simple, straightforward procedure.

Reasons for extractions include tooth decay and wisdom teeth becoming impacted, among many other things. In some instances, teeth may need to be removed to make room for braces or an implant. There are two types of tooth-extraction procedures that may be required based on individual circumstances.

Simple Tooth Extraction

The simple extraction is perhaps one of the easiest procedures for most dentists. The procedure usually begins with the dentist loosening the tooth and then using forceps to manipulate it until it can be easily pulled from the socket.

The periodontal ligament that holds the tooth in place will have to be separated from the tooth to be extracted. This is not as complicated as it seems and can be done without the patient experiencing any significant pain. The dentist can numb the areas around the tooth to minimize pain, and the procedure can be done in a matter of minutes.

There will be some bleeding after the removal. Your dentist can efficiently address this using a piece of gauze. Patients are usually able to go home after the procedure and may experience little to no pain afterward.

Surgical Extraction

There are cases where simple tooth extraction may not be the best option. Common examples include severe tooth decay or an impacted tooth that has extended into the jawbone. In this case, a more complicated surgical extraction will be needed since this may involve stitching certain areas after the removal.

This type of extraction would involve the use of sedatives or local anesthesia. The process also can be completed with little to no discomfort to the patient.

Tooth Extraction Healing

Healing after the procedure will depend on several factors, the most important of which is the complexity of the procedure. Surgical extractions often take longer to heal, mainly because some regions of the gums may be affected during the process.

One of the most common complications of tooth extraction is dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot inside the tooth socket fails to develop or gets dislodged before the wound has adequately healed.

The best way to avoid complications like this and to speed up recovery is to adhere to your dentist’s instructions. He or she will address what type of foods and beverages you can have during this time as well as how you should go about cleaning your mouth during the healing process. Following these instructions religiously will help the extraction heal faster.

For more information about tooth extraction or to find out what your tooth-replacement options are if you have experienced a lost tooth or several teeth, call us today at 724-220-2347.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on January 6th, 2020