Precision Dental Care to Improve Your Oral Health

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth or teeth from its socket in the jawbone. Keep in mind that our dentists will work hard to save the patient’s tooth (or teeth) from decay or if you have a cracked tooth or a chipped tooth, by using a filling, root canal therapy, dental crown, or any kind of available dental care treatment. Even if it’s a broken tooth, it can be saved except for situations where the damage is already too much that it’s no longer repairable, the dentist will have to resort to tooth extraction. In addition, an abscessed tooth or an extremely loose tooth also needs to be removed if it can no longer be saved, even with a bone graft.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

  • The presence of extra teeth that blocks new (permanent) ones from emerging
  • A baby tooth that didn’t fall out in time will have to be extracted to give way to the growth of a permanent tooth
  • Those getting braces must have a tooth (or some teeth) extracted to make room for the rest of their teeth to move in the desired position
  • Patients who are getting radiation treatment in the head and neck area may require tooth (or teeth) extraction
  • Dental emergency

A dental abscess situated near to the tooth’s root is normally pressure-sensitive. If a dental practitioner determines that the damaged tooth cannot be saved or restored, it must be removed and the abscess drained. Antibiotics should be administered only when absolutely necessary. Antibiotics may not be important if the infection is limited to the abscessed spot.

Patients who are taking anti-cancer medication may be advised to get their teeth extracted since they are susceptible to getting infected teeth because of the drugs they’re taking. Unfortunately, these drugs affect a person’s overall immune system, to the point where they are weakened.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by an infection that develops around the tooth and alveolar bone. Gingivitis, the infection’s initial stage, affects the gums. More severe cases of periodontal disease cause extensive damage to the ligaments and gum tissues, impairing denture support and resulting in dental decay.

There are some cases where the patient may develop a tooth infection after an organ transplant so they need to be removed. Patients with organ transplants carry a high risk of dental infection since the prescribed drugs that they’re taking can also weaken their immune system.

It’s common to do wisdom teeth extraction either before or after they erupt. Normally, the removal of impacted wisdom teeth (third molars) happens during the early 20s or the late teens. If these get infected, begin to decay, or cause toothaches or dental pain, then they will have to be extracted as soon as possible. There are also cases where the wisdom tooth gets stuck in the jaw and fails to come out. This is what we normally call “impacted tooth (or teeth).” Tooth extraction is highly recommended for an impacted tooth. If all four wisdom teeth need to be pulled out, these are normally done simultaneously – all at the same time. Sensitive teeth (tooth sensitivity) are a possible side effect of wisdom tooth removal. In case you wear a dental device such as a mouthguard for teeth grinding every night, you may keep wearing it once 24 hours have passed following the tooth extraction, if and only if your dentist tells you it’s okay to continue to wear it. Refrain from using the oral device and notify your dentist if you experience any discomfort, pain, or unnecessary strain on the extraction area.

If you are suffering from inflammation, are experiencing an excruciating emergency toothache, have a loose or knocked-out tooth, or received jaw injuries, you need to get emergency treatment or urgent dental care. Each of these symptoms suggests the imminent need for emergency dental care or urgent care. Our emergency dentist will take all necessary precautions to prevent further damage and repair your natural tooth. Nonetheless, if the tooth becomes irreparably affected, extraction is necessary. Arrange an emergency dental appointment and then we will strive to schedule your visit on the same day. Please contact us if you have any issues or inquiries about our emergency dentistry or any other emergency services we offer. We will reply immediately.


To prepare for a tooth (or teeth) extraction, the dentist will require the patient to get a dental exam and x-ray. The California Dental Associates states that X-rays allow your dentist to see beyond what the naked eye can see. This will help the dentist to think of the best plan to remove the patient’s tooth or teeth. The patient must also give the dentist his or her full medical and dental history along with a list of medications that he or she has or is currently taking.

For the removal of wisdom teeth, a panoramic X-ray is advised. This will take a picture of the patient’s entire mouth, including the gums, jaws, and teeth.

It shows a lot of important information about the patient’s condition as well as the following:

  • The impact of the patient’s wisdom teeth on the surrounding teeth.
  • The relationship of the upper teeth to the sinuses.
  • The lower teeth’s relationship to the nerve in the jawbone. Known as the ‘inferior alveolar nerve’, this nerve provides the sensation to the entire lower jaw area which consists of the jaw, lower teeth, lower lip, and chin.
  • Any kind of infections, tumors, or bone diseases that are present in the patient’s mouth.

In some cases, the dentist may prescribe the patient to take antibiotics before and after surgery. This practice varies on the attending dentist or oral surgeon.

Antibiotics will be prescribed for cases in which:

  • Infection is present at the time of the surgery
  • The patient’s immune system is weak
  • The patient had a lengthy surgery
  • A specific medical condition that requires them to take antibiotics

It is highly advisable that patients who will undergo this procedure be accompanied by someone. They must have someone who can take them or drive them home safely. The dentist will also give the patient any post-surgery instructions and it’s vital that you follow them diligently.

How It’s Done

There are basically two kinds of tooth extraction:

  • Simple extraction: This is commonly done with the tooth or teeth that are visibly seen in the mouth. This procedure is usually performed by all dentists. In this procedure, the dentist will carefully loosen the infected tooth (or teeth), using an instrument called the ‘elevator’. Then, he or she will use the forceps (another dental tool) to finally remove the tooth.
  • Surgical extraction: This is the most complicated type. This procedure is done when the tooth has broken off at the gum line or has not come out visibly in the mouth. Surgical dental extractions are usually performed by oral surgeons. However, there are also general practitioner dentists who do them. In this procedure, the dentist will make a small incision in the patient’s gums. In other cases, some of the surrounding bone must be removed or the tooth must be cut in half so it’s easier to extract.

Simple extraction procedures are done with an injection of local anesthetic. But there are also some cases where the patient is given some medication to help them relax. For surgical removals, on the other hand, the patient will be given a local anesthetic which can be administered through a vein (intravenous). For patients who are getting conscious sedation, they will be provided with steroids and other medications through the IV line. These steroids will alleviate the swelling and pain after the entire procedure. Also, during the dental extraction, there will be some pressure, but no excruciating pain. If, however, you feel any pain, don’t hesitate to call your dentist’s attention by raising your hand.

After the Procedure

The dentist will normally provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare for the surgery. Daily oral hygiene is needed. They’ll also inform you of what to expect before and after the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to ask your doctor before leaving their clinic.

Here are some of the things that a patient can expect after an extraction procedure:

  • A little discomfort can be expected after simple extractions. The doctor will most likely prescribe pain medications or over-the-counter Ibuprofen like Advil, Mortin for temporary pain relief. Remember to follow your dentist’s prescription diligently.
  • It is normal to feel slight pain after surgical extraction. The degree of pain and discomfort, as well as the time of healing, depends on the condition of the tooth extraction. Oftentimes, the pain goes away after a few days or so.
  • Compared to a normal skin wound, an incision in the gums bleeds more because they can’t dry out and scab. So after the procedure, the patient will be instructed to bite on a piece of gauze for about 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow the blood to clot, therefore stopping the bleeding. Usually, the bleeding should stop after three days. Remember not to disturb the clot that formed on the wound through brushing or flossing.
  • To reduce swelling, applying ice packs and/or warm compress outside of the affected area will help.
  • Eating soft or cold food like ice cream will help reduce swelling and hasten the healing process.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water beginning 24 hours after the surgery. The saltwater will help to disinfect the affected area and keep it clean from bacteria.
  • For cases where the stitching is necessary, don’t worry because the dentist will typically use the dissolving kind. This normally takes around one to two weeks to dissolve. Also, rinsing the mouth with warm, saltwater help dissolve the stitches much faster. However, there are some stitches that need to be removed by the dentist or surgeon.
  • Remember not to smoke, use a straw while drinking, or spit after surgical extraction. Doing this can remove the blood clot from the area where the tooth was. Also, NEVER smoke on the day of the surgery as well as 2 to 4 days after the extraction.

Risks of Tooth Extraction

In about 3-4% of tooth extractions, a dental issue called the ‘dry socket’ may occur. This usually happens when the blood clot is not formed properly in the hole where the tooth was. Or if the blood clot breaks down too early.

In a dry socket, the underlying bone is exposed in the mouth. This causes pain and oftentimes produces bad taste or mouth odor. This normally starts to cause pain on the third day after the surgical extraction.

This commonly occurs (up to 30%) to patients with impacted teeth. Complicated tooth extractions may also lead to dry socket. Furthermore, smoking on the day of the surgery can heighten the risk. Smokers and women on birth control pills are more likely to have dry socket than other patients.

To treat this condition, a medicated dressing will be used to stop the pain and encourage healing.

Infection can normally occur after any kind of procedure. However, you can avoid this if your immune system is strong and healthy.

Other potential dental issues are the following:

  • Accidental damage done to the surrounding teeth like fracture of fillings.
  • An incomplete tooth extraction where the root of the infected tooth stays in the jaw. In this situation, the dentist will normally extract the root to prevent any further infection, but there are times where it’s much safer to leave a small root tip in place.
  • A fractured jaw caused by the pressure applied to the jaw during the tooth extraction procedure. This normally occurs in older patients with osteoporosis in the jaw bone.
  • A hole in the sinus was created after a procedure done in the upper back molar. Typically, a small hole closes itself after a few weeks. But if it doesn’t, then the dentist will have to perform another surgery on the patient to address this problem.
  • Soreness on the jaw joints or muscles. This happens when the patient is having difficulties in opening their mouth wide. It may be caused by the injections given, keeping the mouth open for a long time or applying too much pressure on the jaw.
  • Numbness in the lower lip and chin area which lasts for a long time. Though this is an uncommon issue, it can still happen due to the injury of the alveolar nerve in the lower jaw. It usually takes around three to six months for this numbness to subside. However, in some rare cases, the numbness becomes permanent.

When To Call A Professional

Patients should call or visit their oral surgeon / dentist when:

  • The swelling has worsened
  • They experience fever, chills, or redness
  • They have trouble swallowing or eating
  • The affected area is bleeding uncontrollably
  • The affected area continues to bleed even 24 hours after the surgery
  • The patient’s tongue, lip, or chin is numb for more than 3 to 4 hours after the procedure
  • The tooth extraction site causes excruciating pain which can be a sign of a dry socket

If the dentist finds an infection at the extraction site, then he or she will prescribe the patient an antibiotic.

Let our caring and professional team of expert dentists in Orange County, CA handle your tooth extraction and certain dental needs leading to improved dental health and a healthier smile. We’re equipped with cutting-edge technology and all of our work is fact-checked and validated. Call our dental office to make a dental appointment if you are nearby, want to know about the total cost of tooth extraction, financing or payment options, or if you have any dental insurance-related questions like regarding PPO insurance to save money. Discover more about our other affordable dental services such as cosmetic dentistry, crowns, tooth implants for lost teeth, dental emergencies, dentures, veneers, restorative dentistry, and bridges.

Our Newport Smiles dentist office is fully aware of and compliant with the current COVID-19 pandemic rules and requirements. To ensure all our patients and staff’s safety from the coronavirus at our dental practice, we follow and maintain the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s infection control guidelines, as well as those of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA).