Virginia Dental Care


703-276-1010 Located 2 blocks from Ballston METRO STATION

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tooth extratcion

What to expect during an Emergency Tooth Extraction?

Did you recently chip or crack a tooth? At your last dental checkup, was your dentist alarmed by the extent of your tooth decay? Could tooth crowding be the reason for their misalignment? You may need to remove a tooth if you answered “yes” to any of the following: The mere thought of it is frightening for many people. You may be worried about your upcoming tooth extraction because this is the first time you’ve had one. Have no idea what to expect from being in the dentist’s chair? Don’t worry. In this article, we’ll discuss what to expect during an emergency tooth extraction.

Instances where immediate dental extraction is required

In the following cases, a dentist may advise immediate tooth extraction:

·         Impaction of the third molar

When a person is in their late teens or early 20s, they may start to develop their third molars. As a result, wisdom teeth might be a problem for some people, while others have plenty of room in their jaws. Due to a lack of room, wisdom teeth may crowd adjacent teeth, become impacted (stuck behind the gums), or require extraction.

Patients experiencing difficulties with wisdom teeth should schedule an appointment with their dentist soon. The scenario may necessitate immediate dental extraction of the wisdom tooth to prevent further damage to the mouth. For instance, wisdom teeth that have been impacted below the gum line may be visible on an X-ray.

·         Extreme tooth fracture

When we bite down on food, we apply a lot of pressure to our teeth. If the lower molars are not properly aligned, the chewing force could cause them to crack. Root canal-treated teeth and teeth with large fillings are more likely to break than natural teeth. The tooth can also crack or break as a result of a blunt impact. A dentist must extract the tooth as soon as possible if it has fractured under the gum line or along the gum line.

·         Drastic tooth decay

Dental plaque and tartar buildup are the causes of tooth decay. The tooth can be saved if there is more healthy tooth material than decaying dental material. Once a cavity has grown too large for a filling or crown, the only option left is to perform an emergency dental extraction.

·         Gum Disease

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) can be treated with dental cleanings and good oral hygiene, but periodontitis (advanced gum disease) cannot. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, periodontitis affects over half of all U.S. adults over the age of 30.

Periodontitis is an infection of the gums and supporting tissues that leads to the loss of tooth structure. If the bone supporting the teeth deteriorates or the gums recede too much, the teeth may become loose or fall out. In order to prevent further illness in the mouth, the dentist may recommend extraction.

·         Misaligned teeth

If a patient has more teeth than their jaw can comfortably hold, the dentist may suggest removing some of them. For example, many people have teeth pulled for orthodontic purposes to achieve a more uniform grin. Before beginning orthodontic treatment, most dentists would prefer not to remove any teeth. However, it could be essential for some patients.

What to Expect During Extraction?

Local anesthesia will be administered during the emergency tooth extraction procedure to numb the area around the tooth. You may experience discomfort during the procedure, as the needle can be slightly painful. However, most patients report minimal pain or discomfort.

If the tooth is impacted, meaning it’s not fully erupted from the gum line, the dentist or oral surgeon may need to make an incision in the gum to access the tooth.

Once the tooth is accessible, the dentist will use specialized tools to loosen it from the surrounding tissue. Then carefully extract it from the socket. Sometimes, the tooth may need to be broken into smaller pieces to facilitate its removal. Once the procedure is complete, any discomfort should subside.

The dental professional will place stitches to close the incision and promote healing, if necessary. After the procedure, gauze will be placed over the extraction site to control bleeding. Keep in mind that the anesthetic does not prevent movement, so you may feel some pressure. Swelling is a common occurrence after an extraction.

After the procedure

After the emergency tooth extraction, it’s essential to follow the post-operative instructions provided by the dental professional to promote proper healing and prevent complications. This may include:

  • Applying ice to the affected area for the first 24 hours reduces swelling.
  • Taking pain medication as prescribed to manage discomfort
  • Avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that may disrupt the extraction site
  • Rinsing the mouth with warm saltwater several times a day to keep the extraction site clean and promote healing
  • Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products, which can delay healing and increase the risk of complications

It’s important to note that bleeding, swelling, and discomfort are normal after an emergency tooth extraction and should subside within a few days. However, if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, or signs of infection, such as fever or pus, contact your dental professional immediately.

Potential Complications

While emergency tooth extraction is generally safe, there are potential complications that can occur, including:

  • Infection: Infection can occur if bacteria enter the extraction site. Signs of infection include fever, swelling, and pus.
  • Dry socket: A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site is dislodged or dissolves prematurely, exposing the bone and nerves. This can be very painful and requires additional treatment.
  • Nerve damage: In some instances, the process of extracting can harm nerves in the nearby region, resulting in a lack of feeling, tingling, or numbness in the face or mouth.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding can occur during or after the procedure, requiring additional treatment to control.

It’s important to discuss any concerns you have with your dental professional before the procedure to minimize the risk of complications and ensure your safety.


Our dentist will give similar post-operative care instructions regardless of the tooth extraction technique used, as there are multiple tooth extraction methods. After tooth extraction, our Virginia dentist may suggest using gauze to control bleeding. Further, he advises patients to stick to soft foods for a certain amount of time and schedule a follow-up appointment in case of any complications.