What to Know Before a Tooth Extraction

If you’re scheduled for your dentist to pull a tooth in the near future, read below for some things you should know beforehand, as well as some suggestions regarding what to do both before and after the procedure.

First, before having a tooth pulled be sure to tell the dentist about any medications you’re taking for any conditions you may have. You pretty much should provide your dentist with your complete medical history.


As for the extraction itself:

  • Your dentist will do different things, depending on why he’s decided the tooth needs to go. If he’s pulling the tooth, for example, because it’s become impacted, he will cut the gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and will use forceps to first, rock the tooth gently back and forth to loosen it and then pull it out.  (He will have given you’re an anesthetic of some type before this, of course!)
  • Once the tooth is out, a blood clot more than likely will form in the socket. Your dentist will tightly pack sterile gauze in the socket, asking that you bite down on it to help stop bleeding.
  • Your dentist may place a few self-absorbing stitches to close the gum’s edges over the socket.


Rest assured, complications are rare, although full recovery can take a few days. You should be able to return to school or work after 24 hours have passed.

Your dentist may prescribe non-habit-forming pain killers. Take them as he prescribes.

The blood clot in your socket will continue to bleed for a bit, so be sure to change the gauze pads your dentist placed in the socket before they become soaked. (You probably won’t leave the dentist’s office until he has determined the bleeding has stopped.)

Once the bleeding stops, you should keep the gauze pad(s) in place for three or four hours. Your dentist also probably will apply an ice pack to the area right after the extraction to keep swelling down. Apply ice for no more than 10 minutes at a time.


Relax at home for the following 24 hours and take it easy for the two or three days following.


Don’t spit or rinse too strongly for 24 hours as you could dislodge the blood clot. After 24 hours, you should rinse your mouth with a mixture of 8 ounces of water mixed with ½ teaspoon of salt.


You should eat soft foods (yogurt, soup, applesauce, and so on) for 24 hours after the extraction and then slowly reintroduce more solid foods as you heal. You also should continue to brush/floss your other teeth, being careful to stay clear of the where your tooth was pulled.


You should expect to feel some pain and an achy feeling after the extraction, especially after the anesthesia has worn off. You also could have a bit of bleeding.


If the bleeding and/or pain are excessive four hours or more after the extraction, call your dentist. You also should contact your dentist if you have a fever, nausea/vomiting, cough, shortness of breath, pain in your chest, and/or excessive redness or swelling near the extraction site.


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  • If your tooth is broken or decayed, your dentist may be able to repair it with a filling or crown. Tooth extraction is usually carried out with local anesthesia, numbing the teeth to be removed together with the surrounding bone and gum tissues .But for proper analysis one should go for x-ray of that particular tooth.


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