Tooth Extraction FAQ and Patients Guide

Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary to preserve a patient’s oral and overall health. Here’s what to know and how to book your appointment at our friendly Louisiana family dental clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Extractions, Surgery, and Oral Health

When will a dentist pull a tooth?

Your dentist may recommend that you have one or more teeth pulled in the following circumstances:

  • Teeth are overcrowded
  • Tooth has decayed too much
  • Bone loss underneath the tooth due to gum disease

Wisdom teeth are usually removed as a preventative measure, but some dentists prefer to leave wisdom teeth that aren’t impacted or painful alone.

How are teeth extracted?

There are two ways a tooth can be extracted: it can be pulled or surgically removed. In either case, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic and special instruments will be used to loosen and then remove the tooth and its root. If surgical removal is necessary, patients are typically given IV sedation.

Will my dentist take x-rays?

Yes. If you need to have a tooth removed, your dentist will take a series of x-rays first to determine how the tooth is positioned, how deep the roots go, and if any parts of the tooth are broken or are expected to break when pulled. X-rays help your dentist decide whether the tooth can be pulled or if you will need to have it surgically removed.

Will I be able to hear what the dentist is doing?

You will likely be able to hear the dentist working in your mouth during a traditional extraction and may even hear your tooth being pulled. If you are sensitive to sounds, you may be able to wear headphones and listen to music to help drown out some of the noise. If you have a surgical extraction done, you will not hear any of the procedure since you will be sedated.

What happens after a tooth extraction?

After you have a tooth pulled, your body will form a blood clot at the opening. This protects the nerves and bone that were underneath the tooth while the gums heal.

This typically takes several days to a couple of weeks. You will likely feel pain soon after the procedure as the anesthetic begins to wear off. Pain can range from moderate to severe, depending on what type of extraction was performed and how the procedure went.

How do I take care of the new space in my gums?

You should not drink out of a straw for a few days after the procedure. Doing so can dislodge the blood clot from the gums, causing a painful condition called dry socket.

You can gargle gently with salt water and eat soft foods that don’t require you to chew. Take your pain medication as prescribed, even if you think you don’t need it. Often, the pain will creep up on patients and once they realize pain medicine is needed, they are in extreme discomfort while they wait for it to take effect.

Should I get my tooth replaced?

Contrary to popular belief, replacing a missing tooth isn’t just cosmetic. Leaving a space in your gums where your tooth used to be is economical, but it can do real damage to your oral health. Bone loss after an extraction is common if the patient doesn’t have a dental implant, bridge, or other restorative procedure done soon after the extraction.

The roots of the surrounding teeth can also shift or move towards the empty space, potentially requiring orthodontic treatment if you later decide to have an implant placed. A restoration can protect your appearance and your oral health.

Contact Us to Learn More About Teeth Extractions

Contact Hebert Family Dentistry today to book your appointment. We offer a wide variety of dental services like regular exams, cleanings, extractions, and more.