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What to Expect After Tooth Extraction

Friday - November 10th, 2017
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Understandably, getting a tooth extraction can be nerve wracking. If you feel you might be in need of a tooth extraction, you’ll want to visit an emergency dentist right away. From there, they can determine if they’re able to perform a tooth extraction, or if it will require the hand of an oral surgeon. Knowing what to expect after your tooth extraction will help you avoid any painful infections and will speed up the healing process. If you’re in the midst of healing from a tooth extraction and think you need to see a dentist, just use a dentist near me search to pull up your nearest Monarch Dental office. With plenty of oral surgeons and emergency dentists on staff, we’ll be able to make sure your tooth extraction process is a breeze. Read along to know exactly what you can expect after your tooth extraction.

What is a tooth extraction?

A tooth extraction is a dental procedure by which the entire tooth, including the root, is extracted from the gums. There are typically two types of tooth extractions – simple and surgical.

A simple extraction can generally be done by your emergency dentist or general dentist, as the entire tooth is visible and not under any gum or bone tissue. With this kind of extraction, the dentist is able to extract the entire tooth with forceps. The process is fairly simple as far as tooth extractions go. A local anesthetic is typically applied to the region where the tooth is being extracted, making the removal process painless.

A more complex extraction is a surgical extraction, which requires an oral surgeon to remove the tooth. This can be done to remove wisdom teeth or any teeth that lay below the gum line. Surgical extractions are also used if a tooth has broken off, making it more difficult to remove with a simple extraction. General dentists can sometimes perform a surgical extraction, but they are typically done by oral surgeons. With some teeth, the gum or bone may need to be removed, or a tooth may need to be broken to make removal easier. At times a local anesthetic might be used during the tooth extraction, but most likely you’ll receive anesthesia if the tooth extraction involves more than one tooth.

What are the reasons for a tooth extraction?

There are several reasons why you might need a tooth extracted:

Tooth decay or an abscessed tooth

A common occurrence for some patients is when a tooth has suffered from decay. In this case, the tooth may have a cavity or become an abscessed tooth. This type of damage to the tooth is typically repaired with a dental filling or crown. However, sometimes the tooth is irreparable and will need to be removed entirely.

Extra teeth

Sometimes teeth are extracted if there are too many in the mouth, causing crowding. Crowding can push other teeth into different positions, leaving them more susceptible to gum irritation and tooth decay. You might also have extra teeth removed if you are about to undergo orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign, and need to make room for your new smile.


Patients undergoing radiation will sometimes have teeth removed if they are in the path of radiation. This is especially true if radiation is taking place in the head and neck region.


Certain teeth may be extracted if they’re at risk for infection. This can happen if a patient is undergoing drug treatment for cancer, as the drugs can lower one’s immune system. This is also true for patients that have undergone an organ transplant.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are commonly removed for many patients. Typically it’s more than just one wisdom tooth, and may require anesthesia to undergo the full surgical extraction process. Wisdom teeth don’t always full grow in and lay below the gum line, causing gums to swell or infections to occur. Eventually, your dentist might recommend they’re extracted altogether.

How should you prepare for a tooth extraction?

The first step to preparing for a tooth extraction is to visit your general dentist to determine if you’ll need a tooth extraction. If you know you have an abscessed or broken tooth, you’ll want to use a dentist near me search to find the nearest emergency dentist to treat the tooth immediately. From there, your dentist will determine if the tooth extraction is simple or surgical. They may want to take an X-ray to have a full look of how your teeth are impacting one another. Be sure to provide a full medical history to your dentist, as they’ll want to be aware of any pre-existing conditions that can impact the surgery, or any reactions you may have to medications.

Sometimes you might be prescribed antibiotics before undergoing a surgical extraction, especially if your body is particularly prone to infections from a lowered immune system. Other specific medical histories and needs might require you to take antibiotics before and after the tooth extraction. If your body has a very low immune system, like you’ve just gotten over a cold or flu advise your dentist or oral surgeon, as they’ll be more knowledgeable on how you’ll recover after the tooth extraction.

Be sure you have someone that can take you home after the surgery. You may be coming off the anesthesia or on other medication that can inhibit your ability to drive. You should arrange this before having the surgery, as it will be helpful to have someone with you to explain any further after care instructions that came about during your surgery.

What should you expect after your tooth extraction?

You can expect recovery from your tooth extraction to take a few days. You may feel a bit drowsy immediately following your tooth extraction surgery as the medication wears off. You’ll want to follow with a good amount of bedrest to allow your body time to heal. To ease some discomfort, you can take over the counter painkillers. Once a tooth has been pulled, your dentist will most likely place gauze in your mouth and apply pressure to stop any bleeding. When you get home, be sure to change your gauze frequently until the bleeding has stopped. You can apply pressure by biting down firmly. Don’t irritate this region too much, as you’ll want the blood clot to form.

Swelling is normal and it’s not uncommon you find yourself with inflamed cheeks. You can apply an ice pack to the affected area to keep swelling down. Try not to spit with the force you normally would for at least 24 hours. You’ll need to keep movement in your mouth to a minimum to avoid removing the blood clot. This will also include refraining from drinking out of a straw for at least 24 hours.

You’ll want to keep your mouth as clean as you possibly can while it’s healing. Try consuming soft foods like soup, yogurt, or applesauce after your surgery. Afterwards, you should be rinsing your mouth with a salt water solution throughout the day. If you smoke, you shouldn’t smoke for at least 72 hours to keep your mouth free of bacteria or toxins that can create an infection. If the wound gets infected it can create dry socket, a very painful infection. You can and are recommended to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would, just being careful where the tooth extraction took place.

When to Look for a Dentist Near Me

Pay extra attention to the state of your oral health post-extraction. If you notice you have a foul taste in your mouth or extreme pain a few days after the tooth extraction surgery, you may have developed dry socket and will want to see your dentist immediately. Patients will heal at various times, but it can take anywhere from one to two weeks before you notice any significant changes. If you experience any signs of infection such as a fever, chills, or vomiting seek medical attention. Depending on which tooth/teeth were extracted, you may have a follow up appointment with your dentist for an implant to keep your bite in place.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a toothache that are concerning, you should contact an emergency dentist for care that’s immediate. Especially if you’re facing an infected tooth, quick treatment is imperative if you hope to save your smile. Otherwise, you can ask your dentist to take a look at the placement of your teeth at your next oral exam. Here they can use dental X-rays to determine if you need a tooth extraction. These oral exams are also a great way to encourage preventative care, helping you potentially avoid tooth extractions.

Keeping up with regular professional teeth cleanings and practicing best oral care practices at home are the best ways to keep your smile healthy. If you know you need to see an emergency dentist or make an appointment for any other dental services, you can visit your nearest dentist at Monarch Dental by applying online or calling us at 1-844-800-7645. We’re here around the clock to help you keep smiling for years to come.