Tooth Extractions


Rio Grande Oral Surgery provides tooth extraction services in Albuquerque, NM.

Call 505-821-2111 to learn more and schedule your appointment.


There are two primary reasons for extracting teeth: damage and crowding. A damaged tooth may have decayed to the extent that it cannot be saved with restorative dentistry. In the case of crowding, one or more teeth may need to be extracted to create space for other teeth to move during orthodontic treatment. No matter the reason for extraction, the process and recovery is the same.

What Happens During a Tooth Extraction


Tooth extraction is a simple procedure performed on an outpatient basis. Depending on the complexity of your case and your comfort level, we may use local anesthesia, local anesthesia with conscious sedation, or general anesthesia during the extraction. Even if you’re conscious while we work, you can rest assured that while you may feel slight discomfort, pressure, and pulling, you will not feel any pain.

Once your mouth is numb, we use an instrument called an elevator to loosen the tooth in question. Then, we remove the tooth with forceps. If needed, we will stitch your gums to close the socket. In cases where a tooth is impacted, we will need to surgically extract it by making a small incision into your gums and possibly removing a small amount of bone to access the tooth. Surgical extractions are almost always done under intravenous general anesthesia.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Tooth extraction is a safe, well-tolerated procedure. Our primary goals during the days and weeks after your surgery are to prevent dry socket and infection and to keep you as comfortable as possible while you heal.

Typically, a blood clot forms in the socket where your tooth was removed; this is a good thing, as it keeps your socket from bleeding. If a clot doesn’t form or if it becomes dislodged, the jaw bone can be exposed; this is called dry socket. To prevent dry socket, we’ll place gauze over the socket and ask you to bite down on it to promote clot formation. Do not use straws for a full day after your procedure and do not smoke.

Other guidelines for aftercare include:

  • Use ice packs to bring down swelling. Apply them to your cheek(s) for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Take any medications as instructed.
  • Rest as much as possible for a few days following the procedure. Use a pillow to elevate your head when you lie down.
  • Eat soft foods for at least a day after your procedure and introduce harder foods again only as you feel comfortable.
  • Brush and floss as usual, but avoid the extraction site until it heals. Rinse with salt water if needed 24 hours after your extraction.

If you have signs of an infection, including fever or chills, foul odor or drainage coming from the extraction site, unusual bleeding or swelling, call us right away.

Call 505-821-2111 to schedule your appointment.