Tooth extraction is one of the most common dental procedures where a tooth is completely removed from its socket in the bone. This surgery is usually performed due to tooth decay, periodontal disease, dental trauma, malocclusion, dental abscess, and impacted teeth. If you have a loose tooth and can no longer be restored even with the help of a bone graft, it is also required to be pulled. However, depending on the severity of the patient’s dental condition, the affected tooth may still be saved through using a filling, crown, or another type of treatment. Our skilled dental specialist at Harbor Smiles is eager to help repair your damaged tooth and restore your smile.

Contents: Why do it? | What to tell a dentist? | Procedure | Aftercare | Risks | How much it costs? | Appointment | FAQ

Reasons for unhealthy teeth removal

  • Tooth decay is usually the reason for tooth extraction. In some cases, a root canal treatment may be able to save the infected tooth. However, if the damage is too severe and the natural tooth can no longer be saved, then an extraction followed by a tooth replacement is recommended.
  • Overcrowded tooth is a dental condition that is characterized by insufficient room for permanent teeth to develop normally in the jaw. This results in crooked teeth. An extraction is recommended when attaching braces or undergoing other types of orthodontic treatment to fix this type of misalignment.
  • Baby teeth naturally fall out when adult teeth erupt. However, in some cases, baby teeth do not fall out. They need to be removed for the permanent teeth to grow normally.
  • If you are receiving radiation to your head or neck, tooth extraction may be needed if the tooth or teeth are in the field of radiation.
  • A few cancer medications and prescribed drugs for people with organ transplants cause deterioration of the immune system. This leads to infection and may require teeth removal.
  • Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by dental plaque that results in an infection of the periodontal ligaments, alveolar bone, gums, and the structure of the teeth. Gingivitis (the inflammation of the gums) occurs at the first stage. If left untreated, it may lead to more serious deterioration of the gum tissues, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligaments. This disease will eventually cause the affected tooth or teeth to loosen and may need an extraction and the appropriate tooth replacement procedure.
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth or third molars are adult teeth at the back of the mouth that has erupted yet cannot grow normally due to lack of space in the jaw. Usually, people have four wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth are likely to cause tooth decay, gum swelling, pain, and other oral issues. That’s why most dentists recommend getting them extracted as soon as possible to avoid future oral problems.


Tooth extraction is one of the most common and effective type of general dentistry treatments. Nevertheless, there is still a possibility of an infection occurring when bad bacteria enter the bloodstream. If you have a weak immune system, liver disease (cirrhosis), damaged or man-made heart valves, inborn heart defect, history of bacterial endocarditis, and an artificial joint like a hip replacement, then it is crucial to let your oral surgeon know before getting your teeth extracted as they may cause further health complications. It is also important to let your dentist know about your full medical and dental history and the medications you are currently taking.

An X-ray will be taken on the site of the extraction while a panoramic x-ray will be taken if you’re going to remove your wisdom teeth. This will allow to take an image of all the teeth in your mouth and present several things such as the effect of the impacted wisdom teeth on the adjacent teeth, any infections, tumors, or bone disease, the connection between the upper teeth and the sinuses, and lastly, the relation of the lower teeth and the inferior alveolar nerve, a nerve found in the jawbone that functions to supply sensation to the lower teeth, mandible, lower chin, and the lower lip. These findings will help your dentist make the best plan for your teeth removal.

Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed before and after the surgery if you have a low immune system, have a special medical problem, or have had an extended treatment. It is also prescribed to prevent infection. The dentist will also provide you some post-surgery instructions which you must follow diligently.

The Procedure

There are two types of tooth extractions:

  • Simple tooth extractions are the most common type of extraction. It is characterized when a visible tooth is extracted using an oral instrument called an elevator to loosen the tooth then forceps for the actual removal. This kind of tooth extraction is usually conducted when a tooth is fractured, decayed, or requires to be pulled for orthodontic treatment. The healing period with simple tooth extraction is normally shorter. Your feeling of discomfort can be eased with over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Surgical tooth extractions are the opposite of simple tooth extractions. It is performed when an unerupted tooth is removed. Surgical removals are usually performed when the patient has a painful impacted wisdom tooth, is about to undergo orthodontic treatment, and has to remove an unerupted tooth, or has a genetic condition that causes an abnormal increase in the number of teeth developing in the mouth. A dental surgeon normally performs this type of extraction surgery but a general dentist may also conduct it. The dental specialist will cut a small part of the gum to pull out the impacted tooth. In some cases, the extraction of some of the bone around the impacted tooth may be required for the tooth to be successfully extracted. The recovery period for this type of removal usually takes longer.

For simple tooth extractions, local anesthesia is usually used via injection on the extraction site. On the other hand, other sedation dentistry options such as twilight anesthesia and general anesthesia are used during a surgical tooth extraction. Both anesthesias are delivered through an IV (intravenous) but have different effects. The former will make the patient dizzy and oblivious of the surgery yet still conscious while the latter will make the patient sleep completely.

It is important to know the difference between the types of tooth removal before undergoing the surgery so that you’ll be able to ready your mental state and choose appropriate sedation. Moreover, it will help you know the healing time from your dental procedure.


  • The dentist will provide you the details on what to expect and the proper instructions on how to prepare before and after dental surgery. Make sure to talk with your dentist and ask if you have any questions about the procedure.
  • Prescribed medicines such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, and Advil can be taken to relieve the pain and discomfort.
  • Bleeding due to an incision in the mouth typically occurs because the skin can’t dry out and scab. Bite on a gauze pad for 20 to 30 minutes for the blood to clot, ultimately stopping the bleeding. After the procedure, you’ll be instructed to bite on a piece of gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not touch or remove the clot formed on the wound.
  • If your mouth or cheek is swollen, apply an ice pack or a warm compress on the outside surface of the affected area.
  • Soft foods are recommended to eat after the surgery. Once the discomfort or pain is gone and the surgical site has recovered, you can eat other foods.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water after 24 hours of the procedure.
  • If you have stitches, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Depending on the type of sutures used, they can be easily dissolved with warm salt water or may require a professional doctor to remove them.
  • Smoking is prohibited on the day of the procedure and 24 to 72 hours after the surgery. Also, do not use a straw nor spit after the extraction as this may cause the blood clot to be pulled out from the extracted area.

When to call your dentist

You may pay a visit to your dental specialist if:

  • The swelling becomes worse.
  • There is coagulation or hemostasis forming.
  • You have a fever, chills or redness.
  • You have difficulty in swallowing.
  • Oozing or bleeding continues on the surgical site even after 24 hours.
  • You feel numbness in your tongue, chin or lip for more than 3 to 4 hours after the surgery.
  • There is severe pain in the area where the tooth has been extracted.

Risks when a Tooth is removed

There are some problems that might occur after a tooth extraction and dry socket is one of the most common problem among them. This dental problem happens when a clot is not formed on the surgical site. Due to this, the exposed bone will not have any protection from outside bacteria and air. It can lead to infection and extreme pain.

The following are the other causes of a dry socket:

  • When a patient smokes after the extraction.
  • When a woman uses birth control pills.
  • When an accident like a crack in the fillings occurred causing harm to the teeth.
  • When the tooth’s roots weren’t completely removed.
  • When the jaw is ruptured due to excessive pressure used on the surgery.
  • When an upper molar is removed and a hole is left in the sinus.
  • When the jaw is inflamed due to infection.
  • When numbness stays on the lower lip and chin for more than 3 to 4 hours after the surgery due to an injury in the alveolar nerve in the mandible.

Tooth Extraction Cost

There are various aspects that affect the total cost such as the severity of your dental condition, the oral surgeon’s skills, the operation costs, and the additional services required before the extraction. Saving your natural teeth is of utmost priority because they function more properly than prosthetics. However, in the case that your teeth can no longer be restored, a dental extraction can prevent you from developing further oral and overall health problems.

How much for an extracted tooth?

The price for a tooth extraction is between $50 to $200. This amount is for a simple gum-erupted extraction. On the other hand, the cost of surgical tooth extractions with anesthesia ranges from $125 and $650. A soft-tissue or a more complex surgical extraction for damaged teeth is about $175 and $600. Having a dental insurance plan may help cover a portion of the total cost for the procedure.

Oral Surgery Near Huntington Beach, CA

If you are looking for a nearby dental office that can provide one of the best professional dental experience and safe tooth extractions, we at Harbor Smiles located in Huntington Beach, CA are delighted to be of service. You may schedule an appointment and visit our office to know more details about us, more information about the tooth removal service we provide and its price, and the insurance providers we accept. Our caring and skilled team is eager to meet you and help you get back your radiant smile. We also offer other affordable dental procedures. Give us a call and Contact Us now!

Schedule an appointment with our specialist to see if removing a tooth is necessary

We at Harbor Smiles are looking forward to meeting and restoring your radiant smile. You may schedule an appointment and visit our office to know more details about us, the tooth extraction service we provide, and its costs.

FAQs About Teeth Pulling

How long does it take to recover from an extracted tooth?

Usually, a blood clot forms after 48 to 72 hours on the extraction site. On the other hand, it typically takes 3 to 4 weeks for soft tissues to heal completely. Meet Dr. Manali Patel DDS.

Can I go to work after extracting teeth?

You can return to work after a day or two if you’ve only undergone a simple tooth extraction. However, if you had a surgical tooth extraction or you had several teeth that were removed, it may take a few more days before you can go back to work.

How long after an extraction can I eat?

Soft foods are recommended to eat after the surgery. Once the discomfort or pain is gone and the surgical site has recovered, you can eat other foods.