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Amalgam Fillings / Silver Mercury Fillings

White Fillings / Composite Fillings

What is a Dental Extraction?

A dental extraction (also known as pulling a tooth or tooth removal) is a procedure where a tooth is removed in order to protect the health of the patient. There may be many reasons why a tooth may need to be removed:

1. The tooth is crack, fractured or decayed into the nerve of the tooth.

2. The tooth is causing an unbearable toothache.

3. The tooth is unbearably sensitive.

4. The tooth is severely infected or abscessed.

5. The tooth is very loose.

6. The tooth is severely deteriorated and cannot be restored.

7. The tooth needs to be removed to make room for braces or Invisalign

The removal of teeth can affect chewing, speech, esthetics and general health. The teeth next to a space will typically drift into the space. The extraction of a tooth should be the last resort, and the dentist should discussed options to save the tooth before resorting to pulling the tooth. It is important as well to know what options there are to replace the tooth before extracting the tooth.

Does a Dental Extraction Hurt?

A dental extraction does not hurt when the tooth is thoroughly frozen. Before the extraction, the dentist will thoroughly numb the tooth with local anesthetic. During the dental extraction the patient will feel a lot of pressure due to the firm rocking of the tooth to widen the socket for removal.


When the tooth has a severe infection, it cannot be properly frozen. A dental extraction should not be performed if the tooth cannot be properly frozen. The patient should take antibiotics and wait until the infection clears up before the dental extraction is performed. Once the infection clears up, the tooth can be properly frozen, and the dental extraction can be performed pain free.

After a dental extraction is completed, there may still be residual tenderness to the tissues and residual bleeding. In some circumstances, the dentist may advise to take antibiotics and painkillers.

What is a Complicated Dental Extraction

Some teeth may require removal of bone around the tooth or the root in order for the tooth extraction to be performed. Other times the tooth may need to be sectioned in order for the tooth extraction to be performed. These are common procedures that are required for the proper removal of the tooth.

How do I Take Care of an Extraction Site?

It is important for a blood clot to form after the tooth is extracted in order for the bleeding to stop and for the healing process to begin. Apply gauze to the extraction site and bite down hard to help the blood clot form.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on a straw, smoke or drink alcohol for at least 72 hours. These activities may dislodge the blood clot. Refrain from physical activities for the next 24 hours. Vigorous physical activities will increase the blood pressure and cause more bleeding to the extraction site.

The dentist may prescribe pain medication or make recommendations to take over the counter pain medications. Antibiotics may be prescribed to control an infection. Avoid eating, brushing or flossing for the first 24 hours after the dental extraction. Then, routine oral hygiene regimen should be resumed after 24 hours.

After a few days, the patient should be able to resume regular activities. Call the dental office immediately if there is still bleeding, pain and swelling 2-3 days after the dental extraction.

What is a Dry Socket?

A dry socket (also known as alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that can happen after a tooth has been extracted. A dry pocket happens when a blood clot does not form, dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed.

A blood clot serves as a protective layer covering the underlying bone and nerve endings of the socket site. The blood clot provides the foundation for growth of new bone and soft tissue. When the blood clot is gone, the exposure of the underlying bone and nerves cause intense pain that radiates to the entire face. This typically starts two to three days after the dental extraction.

Dry socket is most common in the removal of wisdom teeth (also known as third molars). Contact the dentist immediately if you have signs and symptoms of dry socket.

Sign and Symptoms of Dry Socket:

1. Severe pain 2-3 days after tooth extraction.

2. Pain radiating to ears, eyes, temple or neck of the same side.

3. A bad breath or foul odor in the mouth.

4. A bad taste in the mouth.

5. Visible bone in the socket.

Causes of Dry Socket

1. Vigorous rinsing after tooth extraction.

2. Smoking after the tooth extraction.

3. Infection of the socket site.

Treatment of Dry Socket

1. Flush out the socket to clear it of food or other debris that can cause infections.

2. Take pain medication as directed by the dentist.

3. Ask the dentist to put a medicated dressing to help relieve the pain.

604 Dental - Vancouver

5733 Main Street,

Vancouver, BC V5W 4C7

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