Tooth Extraction


Steven H. Charng, DDS

General Dentist located in Arcadia, CA

Since tooth extraction is easier and safer than ever, the negative connotation that a task is “like pulling teeth” is both outdated and undeserved. Everyone gets toothaches, inflamed gums, or other painful dental issues eventually, but you shouldn't ignore the signs that you might need a tooth pulled. If you live or work in or around Arcadia, California, call UDental or make an online appointment with Dr. Steven Charng today if you suspect you need a tooth extracted.

Tooth Extraction Q&A

What conditions require a tooth extraction?

Several common dental issues typically lead to having a tooth removed:

  • Decayed teeth
  • Damaged teeth (trauma)
  • Infected teeth
  • Alignment-ruining teeth (crowded mouth or wisdom tooth)
  • Loose teeth from gum disease (periodontal)
  • Risk of tooth infection from a weakened immune system

Of course, patients and dentists hate to see a permanent tooth go, but sometimes leaving a troubled tooth in your mouth causes more suffering than taking it out.

How are tooth extractions performed?

Tooth extractions start with local anesthesia, or general anesthesia to ease you to sleep if you’re having multiple teeth pulled or undergoing oral surgery. Either method keeps you pain-free. Next, the goal is to remove the tooth from the ligaments holding it to your jaw.

Dentists and oral surgeons like Dr. Charng use forceps to grab your tooth and carefully rock it loose. It’s a simple removal unless your tooth is impacted (it’s trapped in your gums). If that’s the case, Dr. Charng will cut away the covering gum tissue and extract the tooth in pieces.

If you’re not adding an artificial tooth implant, bridge, or dentures after Dr. Charng removes your tooth, then your remaining gum socket clots up naturally -- and with the help of gauze and occasionally also self-dissolving stitches -- to start the healing process.

A single procedure takes 20 to 45 minutes, though it takes longer for pulling multiple teeth or an impacted tooth.

What is recovery like for tooth extractions?

In the first hours after your tooth is removed, your mouth and face are sometimes still a little numb from the anesthesia, but as it wears off, you often experience some discomfort and pain. You may feel better within just a few days if you follow these steps:

  • Ice the outside of your mouth for 10 minutes afterward
  • Take pain medication as directed
  • Avoid strenuous activity for two days
  • Refrain from spitting or vigorously rinsing for 24 hours
  • Don’t use straws or eat hard or chewy food for 24 hours
  • Keep your head elevated, even when sleeping
  • Skip over your socket when brushing and flossing

Are there risks with tooth extractions?

You need to get help right away if you experience chills, nausea, vomiting, intense pain beyond the first four hours, excessive bleeding, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or infection after tooth extraction.

Also, while your socket tissue and bone start to regrow within a week or two, leaving such a gap in your mouth might misalign your teeth, eventually affecting your bite. That’s why dentists and orthodontists usually recommend an implant, bridge, or dentures immediately after extractions.

Don’t wait another day when toothaches, gum disease, troublesome wisdom teeth, or a weakened immune system have you wondering if you should see a dentist. Call UDental now or book an appointment online for a personalized consultation with Dr. Charng to see if you need a tooth extraction.