There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a "tooth socket," and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.

Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth.

Post-Op Instructions

  • Do not rinse mouth for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours you should rinse with warm salt water every 3-4 hours.
  • Bleeding is to be expected after extractions, place gauze pads over bleeding area and bite down firmly for 1 hour. Change as needed.
  • Do not smoke for 72 hours after extraction, as this will delay healing and can cause dry sockets.
  • Eat light foods, nothing hard, and do not drink any liquids through a straw.
  • For mild to average pain, use any non-aspirin type medication.
  • If any unusual symptoms occur call the office immediately, if after hours please call our emergency line: 855-235-8953