Site Map

Tooth extraction

Pulling a tooth; Tooth removal

A tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a tooth from the gum socket. It is usually done by a general dentist, an oral surgeon, or a periodontist.

I Would Like to Learn About:


The procedure will take place in the dental office or hospital dental clinic. It may involve removing one or more teeth. You may be asked to take antibiotics before the procedure.

If you need a more complex tooth extraction:

After your tooth is removed:

Why the Procedure Is Performed

There are several reasons people have a tooth pulled:


While uncommon, certain problems may occur:

Before the Procedure

Tell your dentist about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines, and about your medical history. A tooth extraction can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. So be sure to tell your dentist if you have or have had conditions that may make you prone to infection. These may include:

After the Procedure

You may go home shortly after the procedure.

To help with healing:

When eating or drinking:

To care for your mouth:

Follow up:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Everyone heals at a different rate. It will take 1 to 2 weeks for the socket to heal. Affected bone and other tissue may take a bit longer to heal. Some people may have changes to the bone and tissue near the extraction.

You should call your dentist or oral surgeon if you have:


Hall KP, Klene CA. Routine extraction of teeth. In: Kademani D, Tiwana PS, eds. Atlas of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 10.

Hupp JR. Principles of routine exodontia. In: Hupp JR, Ellis E, Tucker MR, eds. Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 8.

Melnick PR, Takei HH. Preparation of the periodotium for restorative dentistry. In: Newman MG, Takei HH, Klokkevold PR, Carranza FA, eds. Newman and Carranza's Clinical Periodontology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 69.


Review Date: 11/30/2020  

Reviewed By: Michael Kapner, DDS, General Dentistry, Norwalk Medical Center, Norwalk CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo
Health Content Provider

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.