At Smile Reflections family dentistry in Tucson, we provide timely, professional tooth extractions. The need for a tooth extraction may arise for many different reasons, and we can help you in every situation.

Sometimes, there’s a dental emergency after an accident that causes a broken tooth, or teeth may need to be extracted if they’re badly decayed. Some of our patients have periodontal disease. Or, wisdom teeth may need to be removed.

We can remove molars or other teeth, which are poorly positioned or impacted, and we also help prepare teeth for orthodontic treatments.

Sometimes, removing even one tooth can cause problems for chewing, or other problems with the jaw or nearby teeth. To ensure the best results, we always explain the various options available to you, including alternatives to extraction, and the ways we can replace the extracted tooth.


Before removing the tooth that bothers you, the doctor will first numb your tooth, jaw, and surrounding gums by using a local anesthetic.

During the extraction, you’ll feel pressure, which is normal. This simply means that the doctor is working to remove the tooth. You can still feel pressure, yet without pain, because the anesthetic affects mostly the nerves that transmit pain.

In any event, if you feel pain at any point during an extraction, please let us know immediately and we’ll quickly resolve the issue.



A little bleeding isn’t unusual. Try placing a small piece of moist, sterile gauze directly over an empty tooth socket, then biting down gently for about 45 minutes.

Blood clots in the empty socket

Clots are the most important part of the healing process, and must not be disturbed or dislodged.

  Avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting for twenty-four hours after an extraction

  Avoid using a drinking straw

  Avoid hot liquids

  Avoid smoking and snuff-chewing


To reduce swelling, try placing ice on your face in a cycle of 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off. You can repeat this treatment as often as you like for up to twenty-four hours.

Pain & medications

If you feel pain after an extraction you may use common non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.


After most extractions, you can eat carefully by simply chewing on the side of your mouth away from the extraction area. You should avoid hot liquids and alcoholic drinks, and also keep foreign objects such as drinking straws away from the tooth socket.

Tooth brushing & cleaning

After an extraction, we recommend that you avoid brushing your teeth around an extraction site for one full day. After one day, you may then resume with gentle brushing and cleaning.

We recommend avoiding commercial mouth rinsing products, since they often irritate the site. Beginning at a point twenty-four hours after an extraction, you may begin rinsing your mouth with salt water (usually ½ teaspoon in one cup of water) after eating and before bedtime.

Dry socket                                                   

After an extraction, it’s important to monitor the extraction site to ensure that a healthy clot forms. Dry socket is a condition, which occurs if a blood clot fails to form properly in the now-empty socket, or if the clot has somehow been dislodged.

When viewed, an extraction site suffering from “dry socket” typically appears dry. A dry socket must be properly addressed, or else it may significantly delay healing.

Dry socket makes itself felt with a dull, throbbing pain, which only appears several days after an extraction. The pain may feel moderate or severe, and it usually radiates outward from the extraction area. Dry socket can also cause a bad taste in the mouth, or bad breath.

If you experience a dry socket following your tooth extraction, please contact Smile Reflections immediately. We’ll apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket, which will sooth the pain and speed the healing process.

The healing process

After a tooth extraction, there’s a small cavity in your jawbone where the roots of the tooth were anchored. Over time, this area will become filled in with smooth new bone growth. Although this process may take weeks or months, within the first couple of weeks the area will already be filled in enough that you shouldn’t notice it anymore.

We all dislike extractions. Yet, having strong, healthy teeth is such an essential part of health and well-being that people invariably feel better once a bad tooth has been extracted.

If you’ve been suffering from a tooth that may need to be extracted, or if you have any questions about tooth extractions or other dental questions, call us today!