What Happens When a Tooth Must be Pulled

In some cases, a tooth needs to be removed due to trauma or decay. The dentist will extract the tooth to restore your oral health by removing it from the gum socket.

While your dentist will do what is needed to make the process as painless as possible, it is possible that you might feel some minor pressure during the extraction. Typically, a dentist will numb the gum around the tooth with a topical gel, then inject a local anesthetic in the area of the tooth to prevent any pain during the procedure.

Once the area is numb, the extraction process can begin. If a tooth is impacted into the gums, it may require a small incision in the gum tissue or for the tooth to be removed in pieces.

Now that the tooth is removed, the empty gum socket will be washed out thoroughly to remove any remaining bone or tooth fragments.

Next the gap will be closed with sutures, also known as stitches. With the sutures in place, you will be asked to bite down on gauze to help with any bleeding. You may even be provided with an ice pack to help with any eventual swelling.

The ADA has shared a video as well to help patients better understand what is involved in tooth extractions.

After-Care Procedures

It is important that you follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for your mouth after the procedure is complete.

Your dentist will give you strict guidelines on how to brush, floss and clean your mouth without causing pain or bleeding to the gum socket.

You will also be instructed on what foods and drinks to have or to avoid during your recovery period.

With just a little time, your mouth will heal nicely.  And if you’re not sure if the tooth extraction is what you need, schedule an appointment with your dentist and let them evaluate your oral health and the condition of your tooth. Your dentist will help you make the best decision for your specific needs.