Extractions are that procedure patients hate the most. Being told you have to get a tooth pulled often causes confusion and worry. Nevertheless, do not fear! Knowing what to expect before and after an extraction will calm your nerves.

General VS Local Anesthesia:

Though teeth occasionally have to be surgically removed, it is possible to remain awake and alert during the procedure. Topical anesthesia is applied to the gum near the tooth before anything is injected. This helps numb the area so the patient does not feel the needle prick. Local anesthesia is most commonly used for extractions. The anesthetic is localized only to the region where the tooth is being extracted. This option allows the patient to be verbally responsive and coherent for instructions.

General anesthesia is typically referred to as being “put under”. This method is administered through an IV and the patient remains in a dream-like state.

Regardless of the anesthetic chosen, the numbing feeling will wear off.


  • Eating prior will help because you will not be eating your regular diet after your appointment. For example, having a decent meal leading up to the appointment will keep you satisfied for the time being.
  • Some people have anxiety or require certain medication. If this is the case, talk to your dentist if you need an oral sedative or when you should take pills before the surgery.
  • Stock up on soft foods like mashed potatoes, smoothie ingredients, etc.

Post Procedure Instructions:

The first three days after the extraction are highly important and will set the course for your healing! The below list are things you should avoid because if you do not, you are putting yourself at risk for a dry socket.

  • No sucking or spitting
  • No eating items that have seeds such as strawberries
  • No eating grains such as rice because small bits get trapped in the stitches
  • No smoking
  • No excessive chewing like eating apples or steak
  • No chewy, gooey, or hard candy

It’s crucial to avoid certain foods and movements that can potentially dislodge the blood clot from your extraction site. Once it has been dislodged, you are left with an extremely painful dry socket. As a result, you will need to go back to the dentist to restart the healing process all over again!

Tips For Healing:

Adhering to directions will make for a smooth pain free healing process!

  • Ice your face- You will experience swelling in the first 24 hours. Icing your face in increments will help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Complete your prescriptions- Your dentist will prescribe medications to take after the extraction. It is in your best interest to take all the pills as instructed. For example, antibiotics are commonly prescribed, if you do not take them you’re putting yourself at risk for an infection.
  • Gargle salt water- A gentle salt water solution is recommend to remove any small particles and bacteria that are stuck to the stitches. Remember, do not forcible spit or “swoosh”. Let the liquid natural flow.

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