Extractions

Also referred to as exodontias, dental extractions remove a tooth from the mouth. Most often, extractions are required for:

  • Severely decayed or infected teeth
  • Impacted (trapped) or problematic wisdom teeth (third molars)
  • Severe vertical fractures or tooth damage
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Preparation for orthodontic treatment

Most extractions can be performed under local anesthesia with minimal or no pain.

Post-Extraction Healing

Following extraction, a blood clot forms in the empty tooth socket, usually within a couple of hours. Bleeding is common, but should decrease within 24 hours. Initial healing takes about one week, and complete healing occurs within two to six months after surgery.

Post-Operative Complications

While most extractions heal without issues, it’s important to be aware of potential complications.

Infection

Gauze and pressure should control most bleeding after an extraction. For prolonged bleeding (longer than 72 hours), antibiotics and packing may be required. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding that cannot be controlled, please contact us immediately.

Swelling

Swelling after oral surgery is normal. To relieve swelling, keep your face elevated and apply ice to the affected area. To create a comfortable, homemade face wrap, secure the toe end of two tube socks together. Add a frozen ice pack or plastic bag filled with ice to one or both socks. Secure the socks at the top, and positioned around the face.

Nerve Injury

Nerve injuries result from surgical trauma to the nerves of the teeth or jaw. Most commonly associated with wisdom tooth extraction, damaged nerves usually regenerate, but on rare occasions, damage can be permanent.

Sinus Exposure

This rare complication can arise when extracted teeth are near the maxillary sinus. Depending on the size of the exposure, the area may be treated with medication to help it heal or, for large exposures, primary closure surgery may be needed to aid healing.

Dry Socket

This painful phenomenon, caused by poor blood clot formation in a socket, can occur a few days after surgery. Termed ‘alveolar osteitis’, the dry socket causes inflammation of the bone and must be treated with anti-inflammatory aids to promote healing.

Bone Fragments

When fragments of a tooth dislodge and protrude through the tissue, they can cause irritation. Generally, fragments are easy for a dentist to remove, and they heal quickly.