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Are tooth extractions painful?

Modern dentistry is not intended to be painful, and this includes tooth extractions. Your dentist will always do everything he or she can to save your natural teeth. Occasionally, it may be better or necessary to remove one. With sedation options, local anesthesia and a gentle hand, a tooth extraction can be a simple procedure that gets you back to exceptional oral health.

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Did you know…

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Tooth decay is the most common reason for tooth removal.

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How it works: The tooth extraction process

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Clean & Sanitize

To begin, your dentist will clean and disinfect the treatment site in preparation for the extraction procedure.

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Local Anesthesia

Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the extraction site and the nerves that surround it, ensuring that you feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure.

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Sedation Options

We may recommend, or you may request, sedation for your tooth extraction. Sedation is helpful for anxious patients and can make you more comfortable during longer extraction procedures.

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Loosening & Removing The Tooth

Your dentist will gently loosen the tooth in the socket using special dental tools. When it has been loosened sufficiently, they will pull it out with a pair of dental forceps.

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Cleaning & Necessary Sutures

When the tooth has been removed, your dentist will clean and disinfect the area again, and suture the extraction site if needed to ensure it heals properly.

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Healing & Aftercare

You’ll be sent home to heal and recover, and your dentist will provide you with a comprehensive set of instructions that will ensure your mouth heals as quickly as possible. 

Types of tooth extractions

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Basic Extractions

Basic extractions are typically used for teeth that have been damaged by oral injuries, gum disease, or tooth decay, when the tooth is not savable with other treatment. The dentist will make every effort to remove a tooth in a single piece, though it is not uncommon for a tooth to be removed in fragments.

Restorative treatment, like a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a partial denture, can be used to replace your missing tooth following an extraction.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, and are a natural part of our mouths. They grow in much later than the rest of our teeth, usually between the ages of 17-25. Many people do not have enough space in their mouths for wisdom teeth, and will need to have them extracted to avoid them causing issues with other teeth when they begin to erupt.

Wisdom teeth may cause your other teeth to shift and become misaligned, or they may become impacted and get infected. Wisdom teeth tend to cause discomfort, which is why most people choose to have them extracted when they begin to develop or emerge.

Did you know…

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An extraction may be necessary for orthodontic reasons like overcrowding.

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Have questions about tooth extractions? Find answers here.

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When is a tooth extraction necessary?

The most common reason for tooth extractions is the improper growth of wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are impacted or are otherwise not growing in properly, they may need to be removed to ensure that your other teeth remain healthy. However, not everyone needs their wisdom teeth to be removed, so it’s best to consult with your dentist to find out if your wisdom teeth are or will be a problem.

Tooth extractions may also be necessary if you have an extremely severe cavity, severe damage from oral trauma, or an infected tooth that cannot be saved with root canal therapy. In most cases, it is possible to save your tooth with a crown or root canal therapy, but sometimes extraction may be your only option.

Some patients with severe gum disease may require tooth extractions. In its most severe stages, periodontal disease causes teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Your doctor may want to extract these teeth to prepare you for a strong and long-lasting tooth replacement option. Extractions are required to prepare patients for these treatments, including the placement of dental implants or dentures.

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Will I be in pain after my extraction and how long does it take to heal?

You won’t feel any pain or discomfort during or immediately after your extraction due to the numbing used during the procedure. However, you may start to experience symptoms including pain, discomfort, swelling, bruising, and bleeding within a few hours following your extraction. These symptoms usually peak within the first 2-3 days, and then start to fade as you heal. You will typically need to eat a diet of mostly soft foods for about 5-7 days after your treatment, so plan accordingly. 

Overall, it will take about 1-2 weeks for your extraction site to heal comfortably. Following the recovery instructions provided to you by your dentist will enhance your healing progress. If you are still feeling a lot of pain and discomfort 1-2 weeks after your extraction, this is not normal. Contact your dentist for a follow-up appointment.

Are extractions covered by insurance?

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Usually. Tooth extractions that are required to remove impacted wisdom teeth, or damaged or decayed teeth, are typically covered by insurance. However, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider and work with them to fully understand your coverage and benefits.

Did you know…

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Most patients can return to work or school within 2-3 days days following an extraction.

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