What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction

Before pulling the tooth, Dr. Brooks will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.


Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. Dr. Brooks will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes he will place a few stitches -- usually self-dissolving -- to close the gum edges over the extraction site.


Following an extraction, you will be sent home to recover. Recovery typically takes a few days. The following can help minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of infection, and speed recovery.

  • Take painkillers as prescribed.
  • Bite firmly but gently on the gauze pad placed by your dentist to reduce bleeding and allow a clot to form.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours.
  • Do not smoke, which can inhibit healing.
  • Eat soft foods.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but be sure to avoid the extraction site.


It is normal to feel some pain after the anesthesia wears off. For 24 hours after having a tooth pulled, you should also expect some swelling and residual bleeding. However, if either bleeding or pain is still severe more than four hours after your tooth is pulled, you should call the Wolftever Office. You should also call if you experience any of the following:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the affected area
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting


The initial healing period usually takes about one to two weeks.

423.238.5744

BROOKS M. PRUEHS, D.D.S.


Ooltewah, Tennessee Dentistry