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Dental Tooth Extraction

Woman holding cheek due to tooth acheWhile our priority will always be to save and restore your original teeth, sometimes it simply isn’t possible. Sometimes it is necessary for us to perform a tooth extraction. The removal of a tooth is never ideal, but it can save you from further pain and discomfort, as well as prevent more serious conditions from arising.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

Extractions are performed for a variety of reasons, the most common of which occurs when a tooth is too badly damaged by decay or trauma to be fully restored.

Other reasons include but are not limited to:
•  A tooth so loose that bone replacement surgery is not possible.
•  A tooth that crowds the mouth and needs to be removed for orthodontic reasons.
•  A tooth that puts the patient at risk of infection. If a patient is undergoing an organ transplant procedure or chemotherapy, a compromised tooth puts them at a higher risk of serious infection due to immune suppressing drugs.
•  Infection in the tooth that has spread to the pulp or nerve center of the tooth that cannot be remedied with a root canal or antibiotics.
•  Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) that need to be extracted. Wisdom teeth do not typically surface until your late teenage years or early 20s. They can often cause discomfort, infection, or displacement of existing teeth, making extraction a necessity.
•  Periodontal disease is a disease that affects the bone and surrounding tissue of a tooth, which causes it to loosen.

The Tooth Extraction Procedure

Before the extraction takes place, a digital x-ray of the area will be taken to help plan the way to best remove the tooth. If it is your wisdom teeth that are being removed, a panoramic x-ray will be taken. A panoramic x-ray is a 3D image that shows all your teeth at once and helps clarify the relation of your wisdom teeth to surrounding teeth, your sinuses, and your jawbone.

Medical History

Before having a tooth or teeth extracted, be sure to disclose your full medical and dental history as well as any medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

It is crucial to let us know about any of the following:
•  Liver disease
•  Congenital heart disease
•  A compromised immune system
•  Compromised or replaced heart valves
•  A history of bacterial endocarditis
•  Any artificial joints you may have

Special conditions such as these may require antibiotics to be taken before and after your procedure.


You may be given some form of anesthesia before the procedure. This can include general anesthesia or conscious sedation depending on circumstance and personal preference. If you are experiencing any symptoms such as a stuffy nose or a common cold on the day of the procedure, let us know as we may need to reschedule.

Before the extraction, we will give you a local anesthetic to help numb the area around the tooth, reducing pain and discomfort. The numbness should subside a few hours after the operation. Do not eat any foods that require chewing until after the numbness has gone away.

Types of Extraction

There are two types of extractions:
•  A simple extraction is performed on a visible tooth. During this procedure, we use a tool known as an elevator to help loosen the tooth. After the tooth is loose enough, we can use a pair of forceps for removal.
•  A surgical extraction is used on impacted teeth that have either broken off at the gumline or have not yet broken through. This is a more complex procedure, where we make a small incision into your gums to remove the tooth. Sometimes, it is necessary for the tooth to be broken up into pieces for the surrounding bone to be removed. While a simple extraction may only require local anesthetic, a surgical extraction sometimes requires intravenous anesthesia.

Recovering from a Tooth Extraction

Once the procedure is complete, we will place a gauze pack on the extraction site. You will be asked to bite down on it for 20-30 minutes to help reduce the bleeding and form a blood clot. Shortly after the procedure, new tissue and bone will begin to fill the gap, and a full recovery should be expected in one to two weeks.

Home Care After a Tooth Extraction

•  After you are sent home, minor bleeding is common, but this should subside after 24 hours or so. If bleeding persists after a few hours, contact us immediately.
•  If you experience a sore jaw, you can apply warm compresses to help with discomfort. You can also apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
•  Be sure to relax for at least 24 hours after the operation and avoid strenuous activities for the following few days.
•  Make sure to eat soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, and soups, etc.
•  Avoid spitting or using a straw for 24 hours as the suction may disturb the blood clot.
•  Brush and floss your teeth and tongue, as you normally would, just be sure to avoid the extraction site.
•  After 24 hours, you may also rinse with warm salt water to help keep the area clean (one cup and one-half teaspoon should do).
•  If you’re a smoker, do not smoke for a week following the extraction. Be sure to take pain medication as prescribed according to the instructions.

Things to Look out for After a Tooth Exctraction

•  Sometimes, an issue known as dry socket may occur. If the blood clot does not form properly, the underlying bone can be exposed to food and air. This typically occurs about three days after the operation and can be very painful.
•  You may notice a bad taste or odor. This is more common when a compacted tooth is removed, but it can happen with simple extractions too.
•  If you experience severe pain at the extraction site, call us immediately.
•  If you begin to experience vomiting, fever, chest pain, or excessive blood and swelling, call us immediately.

Contact us today at (480) 820-4342 if you have any questions or concerns regarding tooth extractions.

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Mark C. Waring, DDS, 2080 E. Southern Avenue E-102, Tempe, AZ 85282 - (480) 820-4342 - - 11/10/2021 - Related Phrases: Periodontist Tempe AZ - Periodontist Tempe AZ -