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Are there any risks associated with having a tooth extraction?

Having a tooth extracted is not a procedure that you or your dentist should take lightly. To give you an idea of the potential risks associated with the procedure, I will share with you an excerpt from a consent form that a patient signs before an extraction is performed: "Potential risks of the treatment include (but are not limited to) bleeding, swelling, pain, infection of the extraction site (dry socket), and damage to other teeth or tissue (gum or cheek) in the mouth."

More remote risks include jaw fracture, temporary or permanent injury to the TMJ (jaw-joint), temporary or permanent numbness of the mouth, and life-threatening complications to the treatment or anesthesia. Due to the potential risks associated with an extraction, you should always make sure that your dentist has a complete understanding of your medical history. This includes all disorders that you may suffer from, as well as all of the medications that you are taking. Some of the ailments that may be of particular concern to your dentist include heart disease, bleeding disorders, diabetes and other diseases affecting the immune system. Some of the medications that can increase the risk during an extraction include many of the medications used to treat hypertension and diabetes, cortisone, and blood thinners (anticoagulants) that are often used after a person has had a stroke, or used to prevent one.

Please also inform your dentist about any over the counter medications you may be taking. For instance, aspirin can increase bleeding significantly after an extraction, so should be avoided for at least 5-7 days prior to treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.