What is an extraction?

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth and its root or roots. 

What should I expect with an extraction?

Extractions are generally done under local anesthesia and the only sensation during the extraction should be pressure.  After the extraction is done you can expect mild swelling in the area for a few days.  The area will have some discomfort, though it is generally managed by over the counter or prescribed pain medications.  You should plan to not do any heavy physical activity for a few days following an extraction.

Why are extractions done?

There are a variety of reasons to have a tooth extracted.  The tooth may be too broken or decayed to restore back to proper form and function.  There might be an abscess caused by an infected tooth.  It may also be crowding other teeth and need to be extracted for an orthodontist to properly re-align teeth.  Wisdom teeth, or third molars, often lack sufficient space to fit into your arch of teeth and may become impacted.

Do you do extract wisdom teeth?

Sometimes.  If they are impacted under bone we generally refer you to an oral surgeon in Bellingham to have them surgically removed.  When under the care of an oral surgeon you usually have the option of having extractions done under local anesthesia or under general anesthesia, where you will be unconscious and have no recollection of the surgery.