What to Expect With Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions might seem intimidating. But, like any other medical procedure, understanding the process can significantly reduce anxiety. At Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay, ON, Dr. Sanket Upadhyay often reiterates, “Knowledge is the antidote to fear.” Let’s delve into what one can anticipate when facing a tooth extraction.

Why the Need for Extraction?

Before diving into the process, it’s imperative to understand why such a procedure might be required. The common reasons are:

  1. Severe Tooth Decay: Sometimes, decay progresses to a point where restoration is improbable. Extraction becomes necessary to prevent the spread of infection.
  2. Overcrowding: Some teeth might need removal to create space for orthodontic treatments, especially braces.
  3. Impacted Teeth: Often, wisdom teeth don’t emerge from the gums correctly, leading to potential complications.
  4. Gum Diseases: In certain instances, gum diseases might weaken tooth support, necessitating extraction.

The Extraction Procedure: Step-by-Step

  1. Consultation: This initial phase involves X-rays and a thorough examination to determine the extraction’s complexity. It’s an excellent opportunity to discuss concerns, get clarity, and prepare.
  2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area before the extraction. This ensures the procedure is painless, contrary to popular misconceptions.
  3. The Extraction: Depending on the tooth’s condition (impacted, broken, decayed), the approach varies. A simple extraction involves loosening the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then, forceps are used to remove the tooth. Surgical extractions are more intricate and might involve removing bone around the tooth or cutting the tooth itself.
  4. Stitches: In some cases, the dentist might place stitches to aid in healing. These can be dissolvable or might require a follow-up for removal.

The Aftercare: Navigating Recovery

  1. Immediate Aftercare: It’s recommended to bite down gently on a piece of gauze for about 30 minutes post-extraction. This helps in clot formation, a crucial first step in healing.
  2. Dietary Changes: Soft foods, lukewarm beverages, and avoiding spicy or sticky items are recommended for the initial days.
  3. Oral Hygiene: While one should avoid directly brushing the surgical site for a day or two, maintaining oral hygiene is paramount. Gentle rinsing with warm salt water can help.
  4. Medications: Adhere to the dentist’s prescriptions or over-the-counter medication suggestions to manage pain and prevent infections.
  5. Avoiding Certain Activities: For at least 24 hours post-extraction, refrain from smoking, vigorous rinsing, and using straws. These actions can dislodge the clot, delaying healing.
  6. Swelling & Pain: Mild discomfort and swelling are expected. Using a cold pack can alleviate these symptoms.

Recovery Timeline

Most discomfort and swelling subside within 48 hours. However, recovery can range from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the extraction’s complexity.

Bridging the Gap: After Extraction

Tooth extractions don’t mean living with a gap forever. Modern dentistry offers numerous solutions like implants, bridges, or dentures. Discuss these options with your dentist.

Empower Your Dental Decisions

Tooth extractions, when warranted, are a step towards improved dental health. Equipped with the right information, the process becomes less daunting. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay and the team at Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay are committed to patient education and care. Dive deeper into your dental health journey. Dial (807) 698-8838 today.


  1. American Dental Association. “Tooth Extractions.” ada.org.
  2. WebMD. “Dental Health and Tooth Extractions.” WebMD.com.
  3. Colgate. “What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction.” Colgate.com.

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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay


Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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