Dental Tips |4 min read

How to Pull Out a Tooth: A Complete Guide

A female is holding her cheek to ease her toothache pain

Losing a tooth can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when it is a permanent tooth.

However, there are times when pulling out a tooth is necessary for maintaining oral health.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to pull out a tooth safely and effectively.

When to pull out a tooth

Knowing when to pull out a tooth is important for maintaining good oral health. There are several reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted.

  • When a tooth is severely decayed or infected
  • When a tooth is causing overcrowding in the mouth
  • When a tooth is preventing the growth of other teeth
  • When a tooth is severely damaged due to injury
  • When a tooth is causing severe pain or discomfort

Types of teeth to pull out

In certain cases, it may be necessary to remove teeth for oral health and comfort. These situations can include:

  • Wisdom teeth
  • Baby teeth that have not fallen out on their own
  • Permanent teeth that are severely decayed or infected
  • Teeth that are causing severe pain or discomfort

Preparation for tooth extraction

Preparing for tooth extraction involves consulting with a dental professional, sharing your medical history, and avoiding food and drink before the procedure.

  • Consult with a dentist or oral surgeon to determine the best course of action
  • Inform the dentist of any medications or medical conditions
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything 6-8 hours before the procedure
  • Arrange for transportation after the procedure
  • Take any prescribed antibiotics or pain medication as directed

The tooth extraction procedure

  • Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area surrounding the tooth
  • The dentist or oral surgeon will use a special tool to loosen the tooth and remove it from the socket
  • A gauze will be placed on the extraction site to control bleeding
  • A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to check the healing process


Proper aftercare is essential for a smooth recovery after certain medical procedures.

This may include controlling certain habits, following medication instructions, and keeping the affected area clean.

  • Bite down gently on the gauze pad to control bleeding
  • Apply an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling
  • Eat soft foods and avoid hard, crunchy foods for several days
  • Take any prescribed antibiotics or pain medication as directed
  • Gently rinse your mouth with salt water to keep the area clean

Complications and risks

  • Dry socket: a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot is dislodged from the socket
  • Infection: can occur if the area is not kept clean or if antibiotics are not taken as directed
  • Nerve damage: can occur if the tooth is not extracted properly
  • Excessive bleeding: can occur if the patient has a bleeding disorder or if the extraction site is not managed correctly

How to remove a tooth at home

While we always recommend seeing a dentist or oral surgeon for tooth extractions, it is possible to remove a tooth at home sometimes.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
  • Use a clean pair of pliers or tweezers to grip the tooth firmly at the base
  • Gently and slowly rock the tooth back and forth until it begins to loosen
  • Once the tooth is loose enough, you can use the pliers or tweezers to pull it out gently
  • Apply pressure to the extraction site with a clean gauze pad until the bleeding stops
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water to promote healing and reduce swelling

It’s important to note that removing a tooth at home can be dangerous and should only be done in emergencies.

If you are experiencing significant pain or discomfort, we recommend seeking professional dental care as soon as possible.


Pulling out a tooth can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be.

You can ensure a safe and effective tooth extraction process by following the steps outlined in this article.

Consult with a dentist or oral surgeon to determine the best course of action for your situation.


Is pulling out a tooth painful?

Local anesthesia is used to numb the area, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure.

However, you may experience some discomfort after the procedure.

How long does it take for the extraction site to heal?

The healing process can take several days to a few weeks depending on the individual’s healing process and the extent of the extraction.

Can I eat after pulling out a tooth?

Eating soft foods and avoiding hard, crunchy foods for several days after the procedure is recommended.

When should I contact my dentist or oral surgeon after the procedure?

Contact your dentist or oral surgeon if you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain or swelling, or any concerns about the healing process.

Don’t suffer the pain of a loose or damaged tooth any longer.

Call us today to arrange an appointment.

We have three locations: Cary, Garner, and Fuquay-Varina. We also serve Morrisville, Apex, Durham, Holly Springs, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Holly Springs, Wendell, Raleigh, Angier, and Buies Creek.

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