When tooth extraction is needed, it is important to know what to expect before, during, and after the procedure to ensure a fast recovery.
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Reasons for Tooth Extractions

Even though adult teeth should be permanent, tooth extractions are a relatively standard procedure in specific cases. The following are some reasons someone might need a tooth extraction:

  • Defective or infected teeth
  • Infection of the gums
  • Trauma-related injuries
  • Tooth crowding

Let’s dive into the procedure, risks, and recovery process for a tooth extraction at Wetherill Family Dentistry.

Performing Tooth Extractions

At Wetherill Family Dentistry, Dr. Wetherill can remove your tooth. A local anesthetic is first injected to numb the area and prevent you from feeling pain during the procedure. However, you will be aware of the surrounding environment. Dr. Wetherill will use a specialized instrument to rock the tooth back and forth until it becomes loose, and then he will use dental forceps to remove the tooth. In some cases, he may remove the tooth in pieces if the extraction is difficult.

Removing Impacted Teeth or Molars

In some situations involving the removal of molars or impacted teeth (which are teeth that sit below the gum line), Dr. Wetherill may refer the patient to an oral surgeon. This type of oral surgery involves the surgeon making an incision to remove the gum and bone tissue covering the tooth. Then, with forceps, the surgeon will wiggle the tooth until it breaks off or remove it in pieces, if necessary.

Risks Following Extractions

After the tooth is extracted, a blood clot usually forms in its place. Your dentist or oral surgeon will apply gauze pads to stop the bleeding & stitches may also be required.

A tooth socket can become exposed (known as a “dry socket”) if the blood clot doesn’t form or dislodges. In this case, a sedative dressing is applied to protect the area and prevent it from drying out. New clots form as a result.

Other possible risks following tooth extractions include:

  • Bleeding lasting more than 12 hours
  • Fever and chills, indicating an infection
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Persistent Cough
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Redness and swelling around the surgical site

If you experience any of these symptoms after having a tooth pulled, you should consult us right away.


Recovery from a tooth extraction usually takes a few days. Here are some steps to help speed up your recovery.

  • Reduce swelling by applying an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time.
  • To reduce bleeding and aid in clot formation, bite down on the gauze pad after the dentist places it over the affected area. Wear the gauze for three to four hours or until it is saturated with blood.
  • Take 24 hours to rest and relax.
  • Avoid using a straw.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid rinsing for 24 hours, and if spitting is required, do so gently.
  • Prop your head up with pillows when you lay down.

In the event of persistent pain or signs of infection, including fever, pain, pus, or drainage from the incision, consult Dr. Wetherill as soon as possible.

Long-term Results

You can probably resume your regular diet after one to two weeks of healing. The extraction site will grow new gum and bone tissue. Missing teeth can, however, cause teeth to move and affect your bite.

To avoid tooth movement, ask Dr. Wetherll about replacing the extracted tooth. Dentures, implants, or fixed bridges are all options that Wetherill Family Dentistry is prepared to handle for the Wilmington area. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment for dental extractions in Wilmington.

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