Tooth Extraction

When decayed teeth have progressed too far, or a tooth is beyond saving due to an accident or injury, tooth extraction or a tooth removal may be necessary. A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. This is a common dental procedure that can be performed by a general dentist or an oral surgeon, depending on the complexity of the case.

Dentistry in Waterloo has dental professionals that can perform gentle tooth extractions. We ensure every patient has a smooth and stress-free procedure whenever they come to us. We also believe every procedure has a higher success rate whenever the patient is comfortable while undergoing the treatment.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

  • Severe Tooth Decay or Infection. When tooth decay reaches the center of the tooth (the pulp), bacteria can infect it, leading to a severe and painful infection. If root canal therapy isn’t possible or hasn’t been successful, extraction may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection.
  • Periodontal Disease. This is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. In the later stages of periodontal disease, the teeth can become loose. This may necessitate tooth extraction.
  • Impacted Teeth. These are teeth that have failed to emerge fully into their expected position. This often happens with wisdom teeth. They can cause numerous problems, including infection, damage to neighboring teeth, and cysts. As a result, they often need to be extracted.
  • Overcrowding. Sometimes dentists extract teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontics. The goal of orthodontics is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth.
  • Fractured Teeth. If a tooth is fractured below the gum line, it may be necessary to extract it. In some cases, a crown or filling isn’t enough to repair the damage, especially if the fracture extends into the root.
  • For Certain Medical Treatments. Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or organ transplants, may require tooth extractions. These treatments can weaken the immune system, turning even a slightly infected tooth into a health risk.
  • Cosmetic Reasons. For cosmetic purposes, sometimes dentists extract teeth. This usually happens when the teeth are misshapen or badly positioned. Extraction can make the remaining teeth look better or create space for an implant or bridge.

Regular Teeth Extractions Vs. Wisdom Teeth Removal

Regular tooth extraction and wisdom tooth removal are both dental procedures, but they can differ in several ways:

Complexity of the Procedure

A simple extraction is often a straightforward process, especially if the tooth is fully erupted and visible. In contrast, wisdom tooth extraction can be more complex due to the tooth’s location and the possibility of impaction, which may require an incision into the gums or even the removal of bone.

Type of Anesthesia Used

Regular tooth extractions are usually performed under local anesthesia. However, the complexity of wisdom tooth extraction may require either local or general anesthesia.

Professional Performing the Extraction

Both procedures can be performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon, but wisdom tooth extraction is often carried out by an oral surgeon due to its potential complexity.

Potential for Post-Operative Discomfort

While both types of extractions may cause some level of discomfort, surgical extractions, often required for wisdom teeth, generally involve more post-operative discomfort due to the more involved nature of the procedure.


What Happens During a Tooth Extraction Process

  • Initial Consultation. Our dentist performs a complete oral exam and takes X-rays to understand the tooth’s condition. If necessary, we may prescribe antibiotics before the extraction to prevent infection.
  • Anesthesia Administration. Before the procedure, our dentist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. This ensures you won’t feel any pain during the extraction. If the procedure is a more complex tooth wisdom removal or involves multiple extractions, you may receive sedatives or general anesthesia, depending on your preference and our dentist’s recommendation. We may also provide sedation to patients with dental anxiety even for simple extractions.
  • Tooth Extraction. The procedure itself can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the complexity of the case and how many teeth are being extracted. Our dentist will remove the tooth by first widening the socket with special dental instruments before gently rocking it back and forth until it comes out. If necessary, the tooth may be sectioned into smaller pieces to ease removal.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting. Once the tooth is removed, the socket (the hole left by the tooth) is cleaned and disinfected. In some cases, a dental bone graft may also be placed, which helps preserve the socket structure for future implant placement.
  • Controlling Bleeding. A gauze pad will be placed on the extraction site to control bleeding. You will be instructed to bite down on the gauze pad for about 3-4 hours after extraction, changing the gauze before it becomes soaked with blood.
  • Aftercare Instructions. Before you go home, our dentist will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for the extraction site in the coming days. This may include avoiding smoking, rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water, and taking any prescribed medications as directed.
  • Follow-Up Appointment. Our dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to check on your healing progress and remove any stitches if necessary. It’s essential to attend this appointment to ensure proper healing.

What to Expect After a Tooth Removal

After a tooth removal, you can expect a series of changes and symptoms as your body heals from the procedure. Here’s what typically happens:

  • Immediately After Extraction. You may experience some bleeding while a blood clot forms. You’ll be asked to bite down on a gauze pad for a few hours to help stop the bleeding.
  • First 24 Hours. Expect some mild to moderate pain or discomfort. You may also see residual swelling. You should get plenty of rest during this period.
  • Food and Drink. Avoid hard and crunchy foods for the first few days. Stick to soft foods like rice, pasta, eggs, yogurt, and applesauce.
  • 1-2 Days Post Extraction. Make sure to change the gauze as directed by your dentist. Continue resting and taking care of the extraction site.
  • 3 Days Post Tooth Extraction. The extraction site should be feeling better and healing nicely. The swelling should also have subsided.
  • Multiple Teeth Removal. If you’ve had multiple teeth removed, you may experience oozing around the side of the denture. To minimize swelling, apply an ice or plastic bag filled with ice.

Potential Complications. In rare cases, dry socket may occur after a tooth extraction. This happens when the blood clot in the extraction site dislodges or dissolves too early, exposing the bone and nerves. If you experience severe pain and foul odor from the extraction site, contact your dentist immediately for further treatment.

Tips to Prevent Complications and Ensure Proper Healing After Tooth Extraction

Proper post-extraction care is crucial to prevent complications and ensure a smooth healing process after a tooth removal. Here are some tips:

  • Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions tailored to your situation. Be sure to follow these carefully.
  • Rest and Recover. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 24 hours after the procedure to minimize bleeding and aid in clot formation.
  • Avoid Smoking. Smoking can delay the healing process and increase the risk of complications like dry sockets.
  • Maintain Oral Hygiene. Continue brushing and flossing your teeth, but avoid the extraction site to prevent dislodging the blood clot.
  • Use Ice Packs. Apply an ice pack to the affected area in 15-minute intervals to reduce swelling.
  • Eat Soft Foods. Stick to soft foods like yogurt, pudding, soup, and applesauce for the first few days. As you heal, gradually reintroduce harder foods.
  • Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water, but avoid using a straw as the suction can dislodge the blood clot and lead to a dry socket.
  • Take Prescribed Medications. If your dentist prescribes antibiotics or pain medication, take them as directed.
  • Watch for Complications. Contact your dentist if you experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, continued swelling after two or three days, or signs of infection such as fever and chills.

Remember, every person heals at a different rate and has unique needs after a tooth extraction. Always consult with your dental professional if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery.

Preparation Tips Before the Tooth Extraction Treatment

Tooth extraction may be a straightforward procedure, but it’s still essential to prepare for it properly. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your treatment:

  • Arrange Transportation. Since you might be under local or general anesthesia, you should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home after the procedure.
  • Don’t Eat or Drink Before the Treatment. If you’re receiving general anesthesia, you’ll likely need to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least six hours before the procedure.
  • Discuss Medical History. Don’t forget to share your complete medical history with your dentist, including any medications or supplements you’re taking.
  • Avoid Smoking. Smoking can negatively affect the healing process, especially after a major wisdom tooth extraction. So, try to stop smoking at least 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Rest Well. Getting a good night’s sleep before the procedure can help you achieve a well-rested body and prepare better for the healing process afterward.

Experience Gentle and Comfortable Tooth Extractions at Dentistry in Waterloo

Your oral health and well-being are our top priorities at Dentistry in Waterloo. Our skilled dental team is dedicated to ensuring patient comfort and a safe tooth extraction experience for all our patients. Our state-of-the-art dental office is designed to provide a relaxing and stress-free environment for all our procedures.

If you’re experiencing dental pain or discomfort, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists. Let us help you achieve a healthier smile!


Since providing compassionate care is our main objective, we strive to ensure that our patients feel at ease. The environment of our dental clinic is relaxing. The first impression many patients get when they walk in is that they have walked into a spa. 

A comfortable surrounding paired with a team that is kind and personable; each one of our team members show that not only do we care for you, but we also care about you. This is shown by going the extra mile to make sure that we meet your needs and expectations at all of your appointments. Our team will do everything they can to accommodate you and guide you towards a healthy and happy smile.

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We know you have many choices when choosing a Dentist in Waterloo, Ontario so we have made requesting an appointment a simple process via our Web site. If, for any reason you cannot keep a scheduled appointment, or will be delayed, please call us as soon as possible.

Insurance and Billing

At our fee-for-service office, we go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience for our patients. Payment is required at the end of your appointment, but we take care of the rest. Once your visit is complete, we handle the entire insurance claim process for you, submitting it electronically to save you time and effort. If you have direct deposit set up with your insurance provider, your reimbursement will be deposited into your bank account within a couple of days. Otherwise, your insurance carrier will mail the cheque to your registered address.

We strongly encourage setting up direct deposit if you have not already done so, as it will expedite the reimbursement process. Please feel free to inquire about how to proceed with this option. We are here to help!


If you are unable to keep an appointment, we ask that you kindly provide us with at least 48 clinic business hours’ notice. A fee may be charged if a patient does not show up for an appointment without sufficient notice.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing our practice for your dental care.

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