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Extractions Before & After Surgery

Click here to download our Extractions pdf.

An extraction is the removal of a tooth for reasons of non-restorable decay, infection, abscess, impaction (failure to emerge through gums), fracture, problem prevention, and orthodontic correction. Extractions range in complexity and type, and involve local anesthetic and/or varying forms of sedation.

Simple Extractions: Performed when a dentist merely loosens the surrounding gums of a tooth to remove it in one piece.

Surgical Extractions: Necessary when a tooth cannot be easily loosened from the surrounding gums. Typically, an incision into the gums around the tooth is made, lifting a piece of tissue to expose the tooth and its surrounding bone, to allow for sectioning and extracting of the tooth. Sectioning the tooth requires cutting the tooth into pieces. After the extraction, sutures are placed to close the socket and reinforce blood clotting.

Soft Tissue Extraction: Necessary when the tooth is either partially or completely covered by gum tissue only.

Partial Bony Extractions: Needed when a portion of the top part of the tooth is covered by bone. Wisdom teeth extractions are frequently partial bony extractions.

Full Bony Extractions: When most of or the entire tooth is covered by bone.

Smoking: People who smoke tend to have more complications with extraction sites healing (including the development of “dry sockets”) than people who don’t. Avoid smoking for three days after your extraction.

Post Operative Instructions:

  • Bite down on gauze for 30 minutes after procedure. Repeat if bleeding continues.
  • Avoid rinsing for 24 hours to allow a blood clot to form in the empty socket.
  • Ice the facial area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off if needed for comfort.
  • Avoid smoking for 3 days.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw or spitting.
  • Avoid chewing in the extraction site; eat soft foods only for the next 24 hours.
  • Avoid anything hot for the first two days.
  • Take medications as directed by your doctor.

Dry Sockets: Dry socket can occur after an extraction when the blood clot that forms in the empty socket breaks away, leaving the bone exposed to saliva and food. Inflammation of the bone occurs causing pain and discomfort.

If this occurs, your dentist can pack the empty socket with medication providing relief in about 30 minutes, and continue to pack the socket as needed.

Risks (including, but not limited to):

  • Damage to adjacent teeth, such as fracture.
  • An incomplete extraction, in which a small piece of the tooth root remains in the jaw, usually because it is less risky to leave a small root tip in place than to remove it.
  • A fractured jaw (a risk most often encountered in older people with osteoporosis of the jaw).
  • A hole in the sinus during removal of an upper molar. A small hole will usually close up by itself in a few weeks but may require additional surgery if it doesn’t heal spontaneously.
  • Sustained numbness in the lower lip and chin, caused by trauma to the inferior alveolar nerve. Complete healing of the nerve may take three to six months. In rare cases, the numbness, although not disfiguring, may be permanent.

Pain, swelling, and bruising related to your extraction can happen at any time during healing, usually 3-4 days. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.

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