Tooth Extraction: What to Expect and When to Call the Dentist

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Tooth extraction is among the most common dental procedures that kids and adults may experience. Tooth extraction is the process of removing the damaged or decayed tooth from its socket in the bone. Tooth extraction is necessary when there is an overcrowding of the teeth, a severely infected or decayed tooth, risk of infection, gum disease, and preparation for an orthodontic work like braces.

woman on a clinic

What to expect with tooth extraction?

Dentists and oral surgeons are the ones responsible for performing this procedure. Before the procedure, the dentist will give the patient a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be extracted. There are cases where a strong general anesthetic administered to the patient, and this typically occurs when the procedure is complicated.

If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will make an incision in the gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth. Using forceps, the dentist will grasp and will gently rock the tooth back and forth to loosen it from the jawbone and ligaments that hold it in place. There are also instances where the tooth is difficult to remove; therefore, it must be cut into pieces first before successfully removing it.

Once the tooth has been successfully extracted, a blood clot will form in the socket. The dentist will place a gauze pad into the socket and have the patient bite it down to help stop the bleeding. Dentists may sometimes place a few stitches to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

There will be certain situations where the formed blood clot in the socket will accidentally break loose, exposing the bone in the socket. This is extremely painful and is called a dry socket. If this happens, contact the dentist immediately. The dentist will more likely place a sedative dressing over the socket for a few days to protect and allow the clot to form again.

You should immediately call the dentist when:

Once the anesthesia wears off, it is common to feel some pain. For 24 hours following extraction, the patient should expect some swelling and some bleeding. However, they should contact the doctor right away when they experience any of the following:

  • Severe and persistent bleeding or pain for more than four hours
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive bleeding from the extraction site


Looking for a safe and pain-free procedure? Book an appointment with us, visit us at 8618 Mexico Rd., O’Fallon, MO 63366. Riverheart Family Dentistry have caring and dedicated staff to help you feel pleasant during your Tooth Extractions in O’Fallon, MO.