Tooth Extractions

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Man after tooth extractions in Puyallup WA

Baby tooth needing extraction alongside permanent tooth

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Occasionally, it may become necessary to extract a tooth. The decision to extract is always made in collaboration with you as part of your ongoing dental plan, and then only after all alternatives have been considered.

Situations that may lead to an extraction include severely damaged or decaying teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, and teeth that are overcrowded and require orthodontic treatment.

Severe crack on front of toothAn extraction is a routine procedure for our experienced professionals. The procedure
includes x-rays to assess the location, size, and position of the tooth to be removed as well as the surrounding area, which helps determine the extent of the extraction procedure. For example, a front tooth with a single root requires a less extensive procedure than a molar, which has multiple roots, or an impacted wisdom tooth. Next, we assess the anesthesia and sedation options that will best serve your needs, allowing for a pain-free, less-than-memorable experience.

Finally, careful removal that often includes a bone-preserving graft takes place. When teeth must be removed, especially ones that appear in your smile, there are a number of natural-looking, permanent tooth-replacement options, such as implants, that can give your smile a second chance.


Are tooth extractions painful?
It is normal to experience some pain after the anesthetic wears off. There may also be some swelling and bleeding for up to 24 hours after the tooth extraction. If pain is severe or bleeding doesn’t stop, you should contact us immediately. The following tips will help you relieve discomfort and avoid complications after your extraction.

  • Take pain relievers as prescribed or recommended.
  • Leave gauze in place for the recommended amount of time.
  • Apply ice for 10 minutes at a time to minimize swelling after the procedure.
  • Avoid rinsing, sucking, or spitting for six hours after the procedure.
  • After six hours, rinse your mouth with ½ teaspoon of salt and warm water.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Eat soft foods the day after the extraction; gradually add solid foods as the extraction site heals.
  • Avoid the extraction site when brushing your teeth.
What is dry socket?
On occasion, the blood clot that has formed in the socket breaks loose. This is referred to as dry socket.
Will insurance cover tooth extractions?
Whether your tooth extraction or emergency tooth extraction is covered by your insurance depends on your provider. Our staff will help you find out if your extraction is covered and, if not, what additional financial solutions are available to you.
Call 253.200.5427 to find out more about this and other treatments available at Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry, your dentist in Puyallup, WA.