Return to Index
|Surgical Removal of a Tooth|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Reasons for Procedure
- Is too badly damaged or decayed to be saved by a root canal
- Has an infected nerve
- Is affecting normal tooth growth
- Is loose from advanced gum disease
- Has a loss of supporting bone, gums, or tissue
- Nerve damage
- Poor nutrition
- Poor overall health
- Use of some prescription and non-prescription drugs—talk to your dentist about any medication you are taking.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Do a thorough dental exam
- Do dental x-rays of the mouth
- Local anesthesia—just the area that is being operated on is numbed; given as an injection
- General anesthesia—blocks pain and keeps you asleep through the procedure
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the area. Apply for 10 minutes at a time.
- Do not dislodge the blood clot that forms in the wound. Do not spit or rinse forcefully in the first 24 hours.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not allow food particles to pack into the socket.
- Do not use drinking straws in the first 24 hours.
- Begin rinsing your mouth 24 hours after the procedure. Use a solution made of ½ teaspoon salt and 8 ounces warm water.
- Eat a soft or liquid diet for the first 24 hours.
- Avoid activity for the first 24 hours. For the next 1-2 days, limit your activity.
- Continue to brush and floss other teeth. This will help prevent infection in the extraction site.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Dentist
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, or any discharge from the open socket
- Excessive bleeding continuing for more than four hours after surgery
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Any new symptom
American Dental Association http://www.ada.org
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research http://www.nidcr.nih.gov
Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca
Canadian Dental Hygienists Association http://www.cdha.ca
Tooth decay. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org. Accessed September 17, 2009.
Tooth extractions. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org. Accessed September 17, 2009.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 08/15/2012