Lovell Family Dentistry

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.

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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, your dentist will discuss alternatives to extractions, or ways to replace the extracted tooth.

Assessment and Planning

The first step is to assess the tooth that requires extraction. The dentist will review the patient's dental history, perform a clinical examination, and may take X-rays to evaluate the tooth's position, root structure, and surrounding bone. Then we'll develop a treatment plan tailored to the patient's needs.

Anesthesia and Sedation

Before the extraction procedure begins, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues, ensuring that the patient does not experience pain during the procedure. In some cases, conscious sedation or general anesthesia may be used.


Once the area is numb and the patient is comfortable, the dentist will use specialized instruments, such as forceps or elevators, to loosen and remove the tooth from its socket in the jawbone. The dentist will gently rock the tooth back and forth to widen the socket and ease the extraction process.

Socket Care and Hemostasis

After the tooth is extracted, the dentist will carefully clean the socket to remove any debris or infection and ensure that it is free of bacteria. The dentist may also apply pressure to the extraction site using gauze or a special material to control bleeding and promote blood clot formation.

Post-Extraction Instructions

Following the extraction procedure, the dentist will provide the patient with detailed post-operative instructions to promote healing and minimize discomfort. These instructions may include guidelines for managing pain and swelling, avoiding certain foods or activities, and caring for the extraction site to prevent infection.

Follow-Up Care

It's essential for patients to attend follow-up appointments with their dentist to monitor the healing process and ensure that the extraction site is healing properly. The dentist may remove sutures, if necessary, and evaluate the need for any additional treatment, such as socket preservation or dental implants, to restore function and aesthetics.


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.


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.