Tooth extraction is a surgical service that is recommended when a tooth has a poor, questionable, or hopeless long-term prognosis. Some patients elect to have teeth extracted when extreme measures are needed to save a tooth.
An extraction is considered simple when the gums and bone do not need to be cut or drilled to remove the tooth. A surgical extraction involves the removal of gum and generally, bone.
Local anesthesia will be administered to ensure that there is no pain during the extraction procedure. Once you are numb, your dentist will work around the tooth to loosen it from the socket. During the procedure, you may still feel pressure and possibly hear cracking noises. In more complex or surgical extractions, your dentist may use a drill to remove bone to open the socket wider to allow more space for your tooth to come out. At no point in the procedure should you feel pain. If there is any pain, you should tell your dentist immediately so he/she can give you more anesthetic. After removing the tooth, some stitches may need to be placed.
Everyone perceives pain and heals differently. It is normal to have some discomfort, soreness, pain and/or swelling immediately following the extraction once the local anesthesia wears off. Your dentist will prescribe appropriate medications following the procedure to help alleviate and reduce post-operative symptoms. You will start to feel normal after about 3-4 days following your extraction. More detailed instructions will be given to you after the procedure. It is important to follow these instructions very carefully. Not following the instructions will risk blood clot formation, which is crucial to avoiding a dry socket and allow proper healing.
A dry socket can happen when a proper blood clot does not form in the socket. Dry sockets can be extremely painful and will require a visit to your dentist to treat.
If pain persists or worsens after several days following your extraction, contact your dentist immediately for follow up and evaluation.