Rectangle 5789.png

Tooth extraction

If it’s your first time getting a tooth extraction, you may a lot of questions—but we have answers. Your Aspen Dental care team will guide you through the process, so you know what to expect before, during and after the procedure. 

Frame 6487.png

When tooth removal is necessary

Having strong teeth is important, which is why your dentist will make every effort to save them. However, when a tooth is past the point of recovery, removing the tooth is the best option for your oral health.

Preparing for a tooth extraction

Learn what to expect before and during a tooth extraction procedure.

Before your tooth extraction

Before your scheduled tooth extraction, you should:

Provide your medical history 
Ask questions to prepare yourself 

The day of your tooth extraction (removal)

Your dentist will begin by answering any questions you may have so you can get a better idea of what to expect during the procedure.

Now it’s time for your dentist to apply an anesthetic to numb the tooth being extracted. Once your tooth is numb, your dentist will carefully extract the tooth and place stitches (if needed).

Afterward, they’ll ensure a healthy blood clot is forming and will give you clean gauze to bite on to provide pressure to the area.

As a final step, your dentist will discuss how to manage discomfort after the numbness wears off, along with details for any medications prescribed.

Tooth extraction healing

The first 24 hours:

Day 2:

Get plenty of rest and limit physical activity. Add other foods to your diet as tolerated.
Stick to a diet of liquids and soft foods.Chew on the opposite side of your mouth as the extraction. After a few days, gradually begin to chew on both sides.
Do not use a straw, smoke, or suck on candy or lollipops. The sucking motion can disturb the clot that is forming at the extraction site.Begin cleaning the teeth next to the extracted tooth site.
Avoid drinking hot liquids or alcohol or using mouthwash that contains alcohol.Gently rinse your mouth with saltwater after meals to help keep the healing tooth socket clean.
Apply an icepack or cold, damp washcloth to your face to help reduce swelling. Resist playing with the healing gum, which could disrupt the clot and cause a dry socket. A dry socket can cause severe pain and lead to other complications.
Do not brush the teeth near the extraction site but do clean the rest of your teeth as usual.

When to call your care team after a tooth extraction 

Call your Aspen Dental office immediately if you experience any of the following: 

✓ Signs of infection, like fever and chills

✓ Bad breath or taste in your mouth

✓ Nausea or vomiting

✓ Severe pain, swelling or bleeding

✓ Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain

✓ Pain that gets worse after the procedure


No insurance? No worries.

Get all the benefits of dental insurance without the paperwork. Pay one low annual fee of $39 for discounts on the dental care you need—plus full exams & X-rays on us. 

¹The Aspen Dental Savings Plan is NOT insurance. Please see plan terms and conditions for details.

Tooth extraction FAQs

After tooth extraction, we recommend waiting at least 24 to 48 hours before reintroducing solid foods to make sure your mouth has had enough time to heal.

Post-tooth extraction, it’s best to choose soft foods that are easy to eat. A few great selections are applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soup. While your mouth is healing, it’s best to avoid eating anything hard, spicy, or crunchy.

Follow your dentist's instructions when it comes to your unique recovery. But typically, you can expect to stop using gauze once the bleeding subsides. This can be a few hours post-extraction. 

Tooth extraction duration varies patient to patient. But it’s safe to say that simple extractions usually take between 20 to 40 minutes, with more complex extractions taking longer.

Avoiding dairy post-tooth extraction reduces the risk of bacterial growth and infection, especially 48 hours post-procedure.

Discover more for your smile

Explore general dentistry
Tooth extraction cost
Restorative dentistry
Find your office

Caring for you throughout your tooth extraction

Still have questions about what to expect before, during and after your procedure? We’re here to help—and walk you through it every step of the way.