Pulling a tooth; Tooth removal
A tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a tooth from the gum socket. It is usually done by a general dentist, an oral surgeon, or a periodontist.
The procedure will take place in the dental office. It may involve removing one or more teeth. You may be asked to take antibiotics before the procedure.
If you need a more complex tooth extraction:
After your tooth is removed:
While uncommon, certain problems may occur:
Tell your dentist about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines, and about your medical history. A tooth extraction can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. So be sure to tell your dentist if you have or have had conditions that may make you prone to infection. These may include:
You may go home shortly after the procedure.
To help with healing:
When eating or drinking:
To care for your mouth:
Everyone heals at a different rate. It will take 1 to 2 weeks for the socket to heal. Affected bone and other tissue may take a bit longer to heal. Some people may have changes to the bone and tissue near the extraction.
You should call your dentist or oral surgeon if you have:
Hupp JR, Ellis E, Tucker MR. Principles of Management of Impacted Teeth. In: Hupp JR, ed. Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap. 9.
Lodi, G., Figini, L., Sardella, A., Carrassi, A., Del Fabbro, M., Furness, S. Antibiotics to prevent complications following tooth extractions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD003811.
Tan WL, Wong TL, Wong MC, Lang NP. A systematic review of post-extractional alveolar hard and soft tissue dimensional changes in humans. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2012;23 Suppl 5:1-21.
Last reviewed on: 11/21/2014
Reviewed by: Ilona Fotek, DMD, MS, private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.