Human teeth, especially for adults, are meant to last for a lifetime. However, this is not always the case. Natural teeth are a great asset to you, but under certain circumstances, removing the teeth is the best option. Natural teeth are often extracted after they have decayed beyond repair or filling. By removing the decayed tooth early, you prevent the bacteria from spreading to other healthy adjacent teeth, thus keeping infections at bay. At the Encino Emergency Dentist, we help dental patients with tooth decay or where teeth have crowded in the mouth, applying pressure on one tooth. If you are experiencing any of these oral issues, you will be feeling a lot of pain, which is why you need an emergency tooth extraction. 

Definition of Emergency Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is defined as the removal or pulling out of teeth due to crowding, trauma, or disease. It becomes emergency tooth extraction if there is an immediate need to pull out a tooth due to pain, to prevent bleeding, or save other teeth from infection.

Reasons for Emergency Tooth Extraction  

Tooth extraction is removing a tooth from its socket in the jaw bone. It is one of the most painful treatment processes, and patients fear it. Despite the pain involved in this process, sometimes it is the best option. Below are some of the things that can cause an emergency dental extraction:

Gum Disease  

Healthy gums look pink, which means any time you find the area around your teeth turning red or bleeding, then you have gum disease. If the condition goes for a long time without treatment, the gum will break down, leaving the tooth to fall out. If the gum disease is in an advanced stage, nothing can be done to save the tooth, leaving dentists with the single option of conducting an emergency tooth extraction. You can avoid tooth extraction because of gum diseases by understanding the causes of gum disease, symptoms, and how to prevent the disease.

Dental plaque is a major cause of gum disease. It contains bacteria that build up whenever the area surrounding your teeth is not kept clean. If the bacteria are left to grow for a long time, they produce toxins that begin to infect the gum and even spread to the jaw bone. Gym disease begins by the color of the gum turning red, or sometimes you might experience a little bleeding. At this stage, you will also start experiencing lousy breath that no mouth wash can wash away. These symptoms don’t show up in every patient. At times the gum disease might spread without any symptoms showing. By the time the disease is diagnosed, it is too late, leaving the dentist with only one option of conducting an emergency dental extraction.

You can prevent emergency tooth extraction caused by gum disease by maintaining a healthy oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth often is one way you can avoid bacteria build-up. Paying your regular dentist visits can also help you keep healthy teeth and gums.

Fractured Tooth Under Gums

Chewing hard food can cause the breaking of some of the tissues under your gums. Also, when eating, a lot of pressure is exacted, and if the teeth don’t fit perfectly, the impact from chewing can lead to fracturing or cracking of some of the tissues under the gum. Whenever a tooth cracks below the gum line, and it is left unattended for a long time, an infection might develop spreading to other teeth. Other complications might also occur in the process. Tooth repair is not an option in this stage, which leaves you with emergency tooth extraction treatment as the only option. Note that if you recently had a large filling or a root canal, you are at risk of experiencing fractured teeth under the gums. Therefore, it is advisable to stick to soft foods and be careful when chewing food.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the teeth that erupt during the adolescent years. In some incidences, the third molars might be unable to erupt out of the gum and get stuck. It happens a lot where a person has limited or no space in the jawline for more teeth forcing the wisdom teeth to push the adjacent teeth and getting stuck. This can cause much discomfort hence requiring an emergency tooth extraction. Contacting an emergency dentist is the best thing to do when you begin to experience pain in your wisdom teeth. Experts will take x-rays to identify the wisdom tooth that is stuck, then conduct an emergency tooth extraction to protect your overall oral health.

Crowded Teeth

At times, there might be room for teeth in your jaw bone but no space for healthy growth because of the large size of your teeth. As such, a dentist might suggest an emergency tooth extraction to create room for the remaining teeth to thrive. Also, if you have more teeth than the required, emergency pulling of teeth might be your only option to prevent overcrowding.


Chemotherapy often weakens the immune system of patients undergoing the treatment. As a result, the risk of contracting oral infection increases. Consequently, the risk of an emergency tooth extraction increases because of possible infections.

Malpositioned Teeth

Occlusion is significant in maintaining oral health. But if there is a tooth that has no opposing tooth to meet with when the lower and upper jaw gets in contact, much damage might be done in your mouth. If the teeth are misaligned too, you are going to have a lot of oral health complications. To prevent such problems, a dentist might suggest an emergency tooth extraction to remove the misaligned teeth or the one that has no opposing tooth to bite against.

Head and Neck Radiation 

If you are undergoing radiation around the neck or your head and the field of radiation is around your teeth, there is a need for emergency extraction of the tooth. It helps give room for radiation. If at all the radiation is done with the tooth in place, it might result in infections that can cause serious oral health complications.

Organ Transplant

After an organ transplant, patients are prescribed with immunosuppressive medications. These medicines increase the risk of teeth infection. A doctor might suggest tooth extraction for specific teeth before an organ transplant is conducted to reduce the risk of tooth infection.

Trauma to the Teeth

Traumatic injuries on the teeth might necessitate an emergency tooth extraction. But this depends on where the tooth is situated and the severity of the damage. The majority of trauma injuries on the teeth occur in sports. If you fracture a front tooth around the gum line, very little can be done to mitigate the situation. Tooth extraction might be the only way out. Often, after an accident causing a traumatic injury on your teeth, your dentist will take an x-ray of the area to determine if the tooth can be saved or not. If it cannot, an emergency tooth extraction is done.

Orthodontic Treatment 

In extraction orthodontic treatment, you might be required to part with one or more teeth to create room for teeth straightening or alignment.

Dental Abscess

A tooth abscess is an infection in and around your tooth that causes a swelling filled with pus. Although it is often excruciating, you might not realize you have a tooth abscess until it is too late when the infection has spread all over. In such a case, emergency tooth extraction is the solution.

Severe Dental Cavities or Caries

When tooth decay continues for a long time, the cavities become large enough, exposing the nerves, which can result in a lot of pain. A root canal can help save the tooth if the soft tissue in the tooth is inflamed. But if it is beyond repair, an emergency tooth extraction is the only remedy.

Signs you Need an Emergency Tooth Extraction

It is not a walk in the park to figure out if the symptoms you are experiencing require emergency tooth extraction. Some multiple signs and symptoms can indicate that you need a tooth removal. These signs include:

  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth pain
  • Loose and unstable teeth
  • Discoloration of teeth
  • Painful swelling that makes it difficult to open your mouth
  • Pus in your mouth

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, reach out to an Encino Emergency Dentist for consultation.

Procedure for an Emergency Tooth Extraction

Dental professionals rely on two types of extractions when pulling out teeth. These two ways are:

  1. Simple Extraction

The type of removal is done on teeth that are visible above the gum line. The procedure is often done using forceps. No sedation or anti-anxiety medication is required in this procedure. Local anesthesia is enough to allow you to undergo the process comfortably.

  1. Surgical Extraction

Dental professionals opt for this type of tooth extraction where the tooth to be extracted has not yet erupted or where it is fractured or cracked off at the gum line. The procedure is commonly used to extract wisdom teeth. An oral surgeon or a dentist can perform the process by removing or folding the gum tissues. The surgical extraction can also be done through bone removal. Local anesthesia or conscious sedation may be administered. But in cases where the patient involved has a medical condition or where the patient is a kid, general anesthesia may be administered.

Preparations for Tooth Extraction

The decision to extract or pull out your tooth is not reached easily. The dental professional must discuss your case and understand your dental history. After, he or she will take x-rays on the area where you are having issues with your teeth to determine the scope of the damage on the teeth. If the results from the x-rays indicate that the tooth requires immediate removal, the oral surgeon can administer antibiotics, which you will begin to use before the procedure and even after. Older people, patients under chemotherapy, children, and other persons who might have a weak immune system are the ones that are prescribed with antibiotics. The medications help prevent bacteria, causing infections.

Also, before undergoing the procedure, it’s crucial to open up about your health and any other medication either prescribed or OTC that you might be using. The reason being some medicines might interfere with blood clotting, thus increasing the risk of the procedure.

Your dental professional is also going to explain what you should expect in the procedure. To make sure you are fully prepared, the dentist might explain the available sedation and local anesthesia that you may choose. For sedation, you can pick the laughing gas, valium pill, or one that is administered through an injection in the vein. If you opt for the laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, you might not have problems driving yourself to the dental clinic for the procedure and back home. But when you opt for alternative sedation, they cause impairment, which might interfere with your driving, thus the need to have someone to drive you for the appointment.

Expectations During Emergency Tooth Extraction Treatment  

It is normal to be anxious when you don’t know what to expect in the tooth extraction procedure. After your dentist has decided you need an immediate dental extraction, once you come for that appointment, he or she will numb the area around the tooth to be removed. The move helps reduce pain or discomfort associated with tooth extraction. Once that is done, the next step depends on the type of extraction being performed.

Simple Extraction

Under this way of tooth extraction, the dentist grasps the tooth to be removed with extraction forceps then begins to move the tooth side to side to make it loose enough to pull out. If the forceps don’t seem to work, a luxator might be used to loosen the tooth. An elevator is another option for removing teeth. It looks the same as a screwdriver and is used to wedge between the tooth and the bone to widen the tooth socket to enable teeth removal.

It is common to feel slight discomfort during tooth extraction, but when the pain becomes unbearable, you must inform your dentist. Once the tooth is removed, the bleeding and swelling after the procedure can be easily controlled by OTC medications.

Surgical Extraction

The procedure is complicated and might require the use of sedation before the area around the teeth to be removed is numbed. And because this way of treatment applies where the tooth to be removed has not erupted, a dental drill, forceps, and an elevator will be used in the extraction. The equipment is essential, especially where gum or bone tissues cover the whole tooth making it hard for the dentist or oral surgeon to access it. In such an event, the bone tissue will have to be cut or removed to create access to the tooth. If the tooth is firmly anchored, the dentist will have to cut it into small pieces and pull them out one by one until the whole tooth is removed.

Once the tooth has been removed, stitching or even bone replacement might be required.

Tools Used in Emergency Tooth Extraction

As mentioned above, dentists will use various tools during extraction. Some of the tools include:

  1. Periosteal Elevators 

In simple extractions, periosteal elevators are used to loosen and detach the gum tissue from the tooth to be extracted. The device is pointed, and it is used to wedge the area between the gum tissue and the tooth. As the elevator goes down, the gum tissue is pushed further, thus loosening the tooth. A dentist might use this tool at the initial process of extraction to find out if you feel any pain. If you experience a lot of pain, they will add anesthesia, but if you feel pressure, it is a good indicator, and they will continue with the process until the end.

  1. Dental Elevators

These instruments are like screwdrivers. They are used to wedge into the ligament. As the dental elevator wedges in between the surrounding bone and the tooth, the tooth is pushed against its walls, enlarging the socket. Doing so expands the shape of the tooth and separates it from the ligament, thus loosening it.

The elevator can also be used to act as a fulcrum to lift the tooth out of the socket by applying pressure upwards. For this to happen, space has to be wedged between the crest of the bone surrounding the tooth and the tooth itself. Using a dental elevator is advantageous because, if too much pressure is applied and the tooth breaks, the remaining part is loose enough to remove.

  1. Extraction Forceps

These are specialized pliers used to grasp the tooth to be extracted and manipulate it enough to remove. Force is applied to move the tooth back and forth until the tooth socket expands, enabling the tooth to rip from the ligament that holds it in place. Most teeth extracted in simple extraction are done using forceps. When dentists are using forceps, they push the tooth in first to apply force towards the tooth root, which will act as a pivot during extraction. Once the tooth is loose enough, it is then pulled out. Note that the process of removal cannot begin with the tooth being pulled out.  It must be loosened first.

Steps to be Followed after an Emergency Tooth Extraction

Before being dismissed by the dentist, he or she must do certain things.

Control the Bleeding

Bleeding is normal after a simple or surgical extraction. Your dentist will not dismiss you while still bleeding. He or she will have you bite a piece of gauze over the extraction socket for between thirty minutes to one hour. Doing this puts pressure on the area socket allowing blood to clot fast. For the technique to work, you should not move the gauze. Instead, you have to bite down on it, and when the bleeding has stopped, that’s when you can discard it.

Minimizing Swelling 

Another thing your dentist must do is controlling the swelling before allowing you to leave. After the procedure, your oral surgeon might anticipate a swelling. He or she will give you an ice pack that you are supposed to apply on your face around the area where a tooth has been extracted. Doing so immediately after the extraction helps prevent swelling.

Postoperative Instructions

Your dentist will also provide you with a list of dos and don’ts. Some of the instructions include:

  • Stick to the soft or liquid diet
  • Do not rinse your mouth within one day after the treatment
  • Brush and floss other teeth regularly but avoid the teeth and gums adjacent to the extraction socket.
  • One day after the treatment, you can rinse the extraction socket with warm salty water after meals and before bed.

An excellent dentist will also give you a list of things to avoid after treatment. These include:

  • Stay away from anything that might prevent or hinder the healthy healing
  • You should not smoke or rinse vigorously for at least 48 hours after treatment
  • Keep away from hot liquids, alcohol and carbonated soft drinks
  • Avoid brushing your gums or using over the counter mouth rinse

Emergency Tooth Extraction Healing Time

The process of healing after this treatment takes between five to seven days. The gum area, on the other hand, might take 21 to 30 days to heal. In case your jaw bone was damaged, the healing process might extend up to 180 days.

Find an Emergency Dentist Near Me

For an emergency tooth extraction treatment to work effectively, you need proper care and guidance from dental professionals. Encino Emergency Dentist is available to help you with this challenging and painful dental procedure. Our dentists work closely with patients with fractured, crowding, and decayed tooth to know the extent of the damage before undertaking the removal process. The last thing you want is to lose a tooth that could have otherwise been repaired. Call us today at 818-850-2969 for a free consultation.