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Tooth Extraction: Procedure, Aftercare, and Potential Complications

Throughout the development stage of our lives, our teeth play a vital role in our nourishment and growth, allowing us to experience worlds full of flavours from across all walks of life. Though the average lifespan of our teeth goes by without a major incident, thanks to a sufficient amount of dental care, there are times when things can go wrong, and events lead up to the moment where the situation cannot be salvaged. You need to come to terms with the fact that though your teeth have been with you since the moment of your birth, you will ultimately have to part with one of them should the moment arise where no amount of dental care can bring it back to its functional state. This is where the necessity of a tooth extraction procedure comes into the picture.

Tooth Extraction

Even though a good percentage of teenagers and adults have their wisdom teeth removed at some point in their lives, there are a few reasons why the removal of a permanent tooth or teeth is necessary, the most common happenstance being that the tooth or teeth have been damaged by gradual decay or trauma to the point that repairing it in the hopes of restoring its functionality becomes a moot point.

Causes for Tooth Extraction

Some of the other reasons that a tooth or teeth need to be extracted include:


Dental professionals, when faced with a patient who has a crowded mouth, generally turn to Orthodontia, the practice of treating jaw and teeth irregularities. This practice is taken into consideration to help the teeth that are too big for the patient’s mouth. The same logic is applied when it is discovered that there’s a tooth that has not erupted past the gum due to a lack of space in the mouth, leading to tooth extraction as the same conclusion to resolve the matter.

Gum Disease

There are instances where a tooth or teeth have been loosened due to the presence of periodontal disease, i.e., gum disease. This takes place when the bones and tissues that provide support to the teeth have been infected, leading dental professionals to consider extracting the tooth or teeth to get rid of the infection.


One of the most common reasons for dental extraction is damage that has been caused by a trauma impact or general decay that has taken place over a specific period of time in the centre of the tooth, i.e., the pulp containing the blood vessel and nerves of the tooth. In this instance, the infection begins when bacteria enter the pulp; root canal therapy or antibiotics are recommended to help in its treatment. However, in more severe instances, tooth extraction is the only alternative to consider.

In other special cases, when the patient is undergoing chemotherapy or needs to receive an organ transplant, extracting a particular tooth may be necessary to help prevent the risk of mouth infection in immunocompromised patients.

Tooth Extraction Procedure

Whether the tooth is impacted or visible, the dental professional in charge of your treatment will require an X-ray scan of the affected area, allowing them to understand the nature of the damage by examining the angle and curvature of the tooth.

Depending on whether it will be a simple or surgical tooth extraction procedure, the dentist will either administer local anesthesia or intravenous anesthesia, the difference in which you would not only feel the absence of pain during the procedure, but the latter would also help keep you relaxed and in a calm state of mind. In special cases of patients with pre-existing medical conditions, general anesthesia may also be considered.

With regards to simple tooth extraction, dentists generally make use of an elevator, an instrument used to help loosen the tooth, the likes of which is then removed with the help of forceps. In cases where the bone or the gum tissue conceals the tooth, the dental professional will consider making an incision in the gum or removing the bone that is obstructing the tooth before the extraction takes place. There can also be instances where the orthodontist will consider breaking into several pieces to help with the extraction. Generally, there is no pain during the procedure, only a feeling of pressure against the aforementioned tooth. Should any signs of pain arise, the dental professional concerned needs to be notified immediately, allowing them to consider the use of more anesthesia wherever deemed necessary.

Preparing for a Tooth Extraction

Though the process of having one’s tooth or teeth extracted is a safe procedure in itself, there are instances where an infection can arise due to the entry of harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. The gum tissue is also a susceptible region for an infection to develop, and for patients who stand higher chance of contracting a severe infection, a dental professional may prescribe a set of antibiotics to consume before the extraction and once the procedure has been completed. Hence, it is vital to share your complete medical history with your orthodontist, detailing all of your ailments and medication so that they can make a more informed decision. Here is a list of conditions that your dental professional should be aware of before you consider getting your tooth or teeth extracted. The list includes but is not limited to:

  • Heart defects
  • Diabetes
  • Artificial joints
  • Damaged heart valves
  • Hypertension
  • Thyroid disease
  • Liver disease
  • Adrenal disease
  • Renal disease
  • Immunocompromised system

Along with the awareness of these conditions, there might be chances that you need to undergo a round of antibiotics if you have a special medical condition or if you suffer from an infection or lack a strong immune system.

What to do after a Tooth Extraction Procedure?

  • Follow all the instructions of your dental professional. This includes following their prescription of painkillers and antibiotics wherever necessary.
  • Though swelling may be normal, you can apply an ice bag around the affected area to keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Avoid forceful rinsing or spitting so that the clot that forms in the socket does not get dislodged.
  • Be gentle when brushing and flossing your teeth, but make sure to keep away from the extraction site.
  • Stick to liquid-based foods for a short period of time, and start gradually adding solid foods to your diet as your affected area heals.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, and sweet-based food.
  • Contact your orthodontist if you experience nausea, fever, or severe pain that gets worse over time.

Complications of a Tooth Extraction Procedure

After a tooth extraction procedure, there are a few risks that may arise, such as a ‘dry socket’, an incident where the bone inside the socket is exposed to the misformation of the blood clot. Should the incident take place, the dental professional will prescribe a sedative dressing to address it. However, dry sockets can be prevented should one follow their dental professional’s aftercare instructions to the letter. Should infections like excessive bleeding, fever, nausea, swelling, or even swollen glands arise, the orthodontist needs to be notified of it immediately to help address the issue in the most effective way possible.

With all this information in mind, a tooth extraction procedure is a relatively common procedure that millions of people choose to undergo to help retain the form and function of their teeth. If you feel like you may need to undergo the same procedure yourself, Signature Smiles is the dental clinic to place your trust with. Contact our team today to learn how you can benefit from our range of dental procedures.


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