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What to Know Before a Dental Extraction

A dental extraction, or ‘getting your tooth pulled,’ can be necessary if the state of your tooth or a tooth’s impact on the surrounding teeth is cause for concern. This could be due to illness, tooth decay, or trauma that your teeth sustained. Removing one or multiple teeth frees up more space in your mouth for your other teeth, and can ensure that any illness or infection is entirely removed. 

The tooth extraction process may sound intimidating, but at Rifkin Dental, we do everything we can to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Many worry about the procedure itself, but we use anesthetic to make sure you don’t feel anything. Here’s what to know about dental extractions and when you may need one.

Reasons for Extraction

The most common type of extraction is of the wisdom teeth, or the third molars. But, there are other reasons, too, such as:

Your dentist will talk through these concerns with you. They will review your X rays and the state of your teeth and gums on your six month visits to look for signs that indicate extraction is needed. This is also why it’s important to stick to a regular schedule of visiting the dentist.

The Extraction Process

The extraction process differs depending on whether it’s simple or surgical. We determine which extraction process is necessary by looking to see if the tooth has already broken fully past the gum. If it has, a simple extraction is in order, which is akin to how you pulled your tooth out as a child. Your experienced dentist will wiggle and loosen the tooth using a small instrument, then simply pull it out. 

A surgical extraction is necessary if the tooth has not yet broken through the gum, or if it hasn’t fully broken through the gum (and it’s ‘crowning,’ which means you can only see the top layer of the tooth). In a surgical extraction, a small incision is made in the gum to assist in the extraction process. The tooth may be sectioned off to come out in pieces. 

For both extraction processes, local anesthetic is given, which means you won’t feel anything. If multiple extractions are necessary upon one visit, we like to give general anaesthetic to make sure that you are comfortable. The comfort of our patients is our first priority.


Healing can take between 1-2 weeks depending on the type of extraction and how many teeth were extracted. During this time, your gums are repairing and growing over where the tooth used to be. There may be some soreness as a result. Consuming liquids and comforting foods such as ice cream and applesauce is advised. 

We are happy to answer any questions and address any concerns about the tooth extraction process. Call our office at any time to schedule a visit or to discuss the extraction you may need.

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