Tooth Extractions

Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can impact your oral health and the appearance of your smile. However, some patients may require tooth extractions.

Although our Grand Rapids family dentist will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, it is still sometimes necessary to extract a tooth. After careful examination and treatment, our Grand Rapids dentist may advise you to have a tooth extracted.

Before a tooth is removed, our family dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an dentists.

A tooth may need to be extracted in the case of:

  • Severe decay
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Fractured teeth or roots
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Mal-positioned teeth
  • Infection or abscess
  • Impacted teeth


For simple tooth extractions, we will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with one or two stitches.


It is critical to keep the extraction area clean to prevent infection. We will provide you with dry, sterile gauze to bite down on for 30-45 minutes to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. For the next 24 hours, you shouldn’t smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, or brush the teeth directly next to the extraction site.

A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction. Pain after tooth extraction can be lessened by applying an icepack to the face for 15 minutes at a time. You may also use over-the-counter painkillers. After a routine tooth extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. Recovery after tooth extraction takes time. Contact our tooth extraction dentist immediately if you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever.

Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients prevent tooth loss from happening in the first place. If you are interested in learning more about our tooth extraction procedure, give our dentist in Grand Rapids a call at (616) 458-7267.