Lovell Family Dentistry 5717 Churchland Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23703 Phone: 757-484-1675    |   

Tooth Extractions

People need tooth extractions for many reasons. Sometimes teeth need to be extracted because of severe decay or they are too badly broken to be repaired, others because of advanced periodontal disease.

In some cases other teeth, such as impacted teeth, need to be extracted because of their position in the mouth, or to prepare for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of even a single tooth can sometimes lead to problems chewing, problems with your jaw, and shifting teeth. Any of these can have a major impact on your dental health.  To avoid these issues, yur dentist will discuss alternatives to extractions, or ways to replace the extracted tooth.

The Extraction Process

To prepare for extraction, your dentist will numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.

During the extraction process your dentist will firmly rock the tooth to widen the socket, during this time patients report feeling pressure, but should not feel any pain. If you do feel pain during the extraction, you must let the dentist know immediately.

Sometimes teeth may require sectioning. This is a common procedure when a tooth is firmly anchored in the socket, such as the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. Your dentist cuts the tooth into sections then removes these sections one at a time.

The Recovery Process

Some bleeding usually occurs post extraction, but placing moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and firmly biting down for 45 minutes should control this. However, once blood clots have formed in the empty socket, which is important to the healing process, you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.

For 24 hours after the extraction you should avoid:

  • using commercial mouth rinses,
  • using a straw,
  • smoking,
  • drinking hot liquids,
  • spitting,
  • brushing the teeth around the extraction site

If facial swelling occurs, you can put ice on the swelling for 10 minutes, then off for 20 minutes. Repeat this as often as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours. 

Sometimes after extraction patients may develop a condition called dry socket. Dry sockets manifest as dull throbbing pain originating from the extraction area a few days after the procedure. Patients may also experience a bad taste or bad breath. Any pain is usually moderate but can occasionally more severe.

If you experience dry socket symptoms your dentist will apply a medicated dressing to soothe the pain.