Demystifying Tooth Extraction

August 20, 2021 Jeffrey T. Baker, DDS PC

A lot of people are terrified of losing teeth or having them removed. This could be for a lot of different reasons. Think of the phrase “…like pulling teeth” referring to something that’s incredibly difficult and often painful. However, “pulling a tooth” isn’t a nightmare like most people think it is.

Thanks to modern medicine and anesthetics, tooth extraction has become far less painful to the point where you shouldn’t feel any pain, just a lot of pressure. The procedure to remove a tooth depends on a couple of factors, mainly where the tooth is located and what condition it’s in.

Dental Appointment

Tooth Extraction Process 

Believe it or not, the majority of tooth extractions are routine. It’s true some take longer and require more steps (like wisdom teeth removal), but most tooth extractions are straightforward. Before the actual extraction begins, most dentists will take an x-ray of the tooth/jaw (this may happen in the previous appointment). Our dentist will:

  • Numb the tooth and surrounding area 
  • Loosen the tooth and widen the socket
  • Use forceps to carefully remove the tooth
  • Rinse out the empty socket with a saline solution
    • To flush out any remaining tooth tissue or bone fragments
  • Ensure a blood clot is forming to prevent dry socket
    • Dry socket is a painful condition where the nerves are vulnerable to bacteria and other irritants

Other Tooth Extraction Reasons

Outside of general tooth decay and gum disease, there are other reasons why someone would have their teeth pulled. For example, someone preparing for orthodontic treatment like getting braces may need a tooth removed.

Also, someone going through chemotherapy/radiation therapy may have a tooth become infected. You may experience other oral problems depending on your specific treatment plan and how your body reacts. Be sure to let your doctor and dentist know what you’re feeling.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

One of the more common and well-known reasons for tooth extraction is wisdom teeth removal. Your wisdom teeth are your third and last molars, the backmost teeth, that erupt in your late teens to early twenties. However, they don’t erupt for some people and some don’t have to have them removed at all. But for those that do, here’s a brief overview of the removal process:

  • The extraction site is numbed
  • If the tooth isn’t already exposed, an incision in the gums is made to reveal it and the surrounding bone
  • Any bone covering the tooth root is the removed
  • The tooth is extracted
  • The area is cleaned to clear any lingering bone/tooth tissue
  • If you need stitches, they’ll happen now after the cleaning
    • But not everyone necessarily needs stitches
  • Gauze are inserted into the open socket and/or over top of it to soak up some of the blood and aid in clotting

Need an Appointment?

Do you need a tooth removed? The office of Dr. Jeffrey T Baker in Shelby Township, MI ready to help. If it’s a wisdom tooth or other tooth, our restorative dentists can remove a problematic tooth. To schedule an appointment call us today at (586) 992-9222.

R e q u e s t

Contact our Grand Rapids pediatric dentist Get Started

A p p o i n t m e n t