Tooth Extractions Port Townsend

You and Dr. Fordham may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed.  Others may have advanced periodontal disease or are broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

If you typically suffer anxiety during routine dental visits, let Dr. Fordham know that you would like to know if sedation dentistry is an option for you.

Dr. Fordham will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth. The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.

The Extraction Process

During the extraction, Dr. Fordham will need to numb your the area with a local anesthetic. Sedation dentistry is also considered for those patients who need help with anxiety during the extraction process.


You may feel  pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain.

If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away.


Post Op Instructions

Dr. Fordham will provide with a personal set of post op instructions. Please follow those instruction specifically outlined during your visit. We have added some "routine" post op considerations below. If you are having difficulty with your prescribed treatment, please call the office immediately, even after hours.


Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 30 minutes can control this.

Blood Clots That Form In The Empty Socket

This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.

  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Avoid use of a straw, smoking, or drinking hot liquids.
  • Avoid smoking - this also causes a suction that can dislodge the clot


If swelling occurs, you can place ice on your face for ten minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.

Pain & Medications

Every patient is unique and appropriate & personalized post-op instructions will be provided during you visit. If you experience pain, Dr. Fordham may suggest you use non-prescription pain relief medications or prescription medications. Make sure your health history is up to date and please provide a complete list of medication allergies for your safety.


For most extractions, make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid or soft foods diet may be recommended for the first  24 hours.


If you are a smoker it will be important to avoid smoking at all costs. Not smoking is the best way to avoid dry sockets and will provide the best opportunity & environment for your newly generating tissue to heal under the best possible conditions.

Brushing & Cleaning

After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid mouth rinses that are concentrated or high in alcohol, as they tend to irritate the extraction site. You may dilute the mouth wash and very gently swish.
Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse with salt water (one teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed. 

Dry Socket

Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.

Reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets present themselves as a dull throbbing pain that may appear few days after the extraction.  The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area.

Dr. Fordham may apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.


After a tooth has been extracted the socket  will begin to close. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer experience the same tenderness, inconvenience, and normal chewing habits will begin.

Replacing Teeth 

Dr. Fordham and his team can discuss tooth or teeth replacement options that complement your budget and smile. Some options may include Dentures or Crowns & Bridges.