fbpx

Tooth Extraction

dentist showing patient x-ray

Have questions about tooth extraction? Our oral surgeons took some time to share information and answer common patient questions to help educate about how the tooth extraction process works. View the table of contents below to learn more or find your question and get an answer from one of our oral surgeons!

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Lane and Associates Family Dentistry

 

 

The following content was provided by Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn, Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, and has been medically reviewed for accuracy. Some relevant links have been added to audio transcripts to provide resources for additional information.

How does tooth extraction work?

Answer provided by Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn. Transcript included below.

Dr. Dunn:

Okay. In general, tooth extraction is based on what you have to do to get the tooth out. So it’s quoted. A simple extraction is the tooth’s fully erupted. You have enough structure of the tooth left where you can just, you know, pull it. you don’t have to do anything special. You don’t have to really cut into the gums or cut bone away or cut tooth away to remove it. But sometimes, or most of the time, teeth that need to be extracted have cavities in them. So depending on how extensive the cavity is, there’s not enough tooth structure to grab onto, so then you have to either cut away at some of the tooth or cut some bone away to get the tooth out. And that’s known as a surgical extraction. And then you’ve got … And these fall into the category of more wisdom teeth where you have a partial bony or a full bony impaction, meaning that the tooth is buried in bone either partially or fully, and you have to take away some of the bone and maybe cut the tooth into pieces to get it out.

How do I know if I need to have a tooth pulled?

Answer provided by Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn. Transcript included below.

Dr. Dunn:

So not speaking of wisdom teeth, but with any other tooth in your mouth, you really need to go see your general dentist and have that tooth evaluated. I understand that sometimes you have a cavity and the tooth hurts really bad, but you know this tooth potentially can be saved. And so you need to have the tooth evaluated first by a general dentist and they present you with possibilities of saving this tooth or there’s no possibility at all and the tooth needs to be pulled so that you don’t get infected. The general dentist will then generate a referral to me to pull this tooth.

How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?

Answer provided by Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn. Transcript included below.

Dr. Dunn:

So like a single tooth extraction, a day or two with a full set of wisdom teeth. So four teeth. Typically the average patient needs about three days off from work or school to recover.

What can I eat after a tooth extraction?

Answer provided by Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn. Transcript included below.

Dr. Dunn:

Good question. So you know, I tell patients they can eat right after, but be aware that your mouth’s numb. And your tongue potentially is numb too depending on if it’s an upper tooth or a lower tooth. And that local anesthesia can last for a few hours. So while you’re still numb, I don’t want you to eat anything that you have to chew cause I don’t want you to bite yourself and traumatize any numb areas. Typically too, we say eat colder things for the first day, because hot foods can make you bleed more. Once the numbness wears off, then you can advance your diet. I honestly don’t have restrictions. Just ask that patient to use common sense. Like I wouldn’t eat hard, sharp things that can traumatize you on a good day without any extractions. And the patient’s going to know best, better than anybody, what they can and can’t eat. Start off slow and easy, like softer things, you know, eggs, Mac and cheese, pasta, fish, things like that. If you do well with those, then you can advance your diet. If it hurts, then back up a little bit.

Can I drink soda after a tooth extraction?

Answer provided by Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn. Transcript included below.

Dr. Dunn:

It is not recommended that you drink soda or any carbonated drinks after any tooth extraction. Even if it’s just one tooth. After I pull a tooth, you’re going to form a blood clot in the sockets once the bleeding stops. That blood clot literally is like a bandaid to the bone. If you lose the blood clot too early, then the bone is exposed and it can cause a very painful condition known as a dry socket. So you want to avoid. Prevention of a dry socket is key. So the carbonated drinks can dissolve the blood clot too early. Okay. You also want to avoid things like drinking through a straw, rinsing or spitting, because those can dislodge the blood clot and cause the same condition.