When are dental extractions required?
Despite our best efforts to save a damaged tooth, it is sometimes the case that extraction is the only viable solution.
There could be a number of reasons why an extraction needs to be performed. A tooth may be fractured or have become infected, or it may be loose due to deterioration of the supporting bone and is in danger of falling out. An extraction may also be necessary when the pulp or nerve inside a tooth becomes infected, but root canal surgery is not an option.
Teeth are also sometimes removed as a means of reducing an overcrowding problem.
How is an extraction performed?
Before we undertake an extraction, we will usually X-ray the damaged tooth and the surrounding area.
Local anaesthetic will then be used to ensure that you have no feeling in the area being treated, and the tooth will then be extracted through a process of gradual wiggling and pushing (not pulling, as most people assume).
In more extreme cases, it is possible to have teeth extracted under intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic (requires a referral to an Oral Surgeon). At all times, your comfort is our priority, and we will also ensure that you are fully informed at every stage of the process.
Is having an extraction right for me?
There are a number of circumstances in which we may recommend an extraction.
When we do, it will be in order to reduce any pain or discomfort that you’re experiencing, and to ensure your overall heath and wellbeing.
- A decayed tooth may be removed in order to avoid further infection.
- An infected tooth may need to be removed when a root canal procedure is not a viable option.
- Crowded teeth may need to be removed to facilitate space for orthodontic treatment.
- Wisdom teeth may be extracted when they are causing pain or discomfort.
- A tooth that has been fractured and can’t be restored may need to be extracted.
- Advanced gum disease can mean that teeth need to be removed. A tooth has been broken at the gumline may require extraction.
Commonly asked questions about dental extractions
Does having a tooth extracted hurt?
Local anaesthetic will be used during an extraction, so the entire area in which the procedure is performed will be numb. This means you will not experience any pain while your tooth is being removed. If needed, nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) may also be used to help you manage any anxiety you are feeling.
Will I feel pain after a tooth extraction?
You may experience some pain or discomfort after an extraction, due to the nature of the procedure. However, having plenty of rest and taking care to eat soft foods, combined with the application of an ice pack and taking anti-inflammatory pain killers, will generally ensure that any pain does not last.
What do I need to do after having a tooth removed?
There are a number of steps that you should take after an extraction time which will be discussed in details on the day of treatment.
- Keep the gauze swab in place, with pressure, for half an hour after leaving the surgery. If bleeding continues once removed bite on spare gauze for a further half an hour.
- If you are in pain, take two Panadol tablets half an hour after treatment, then one or two tablets every three to four hours, if necessary, to a maximum of six tablets in one day.
- NO EATING until your numbness has completely worn off
- DO NOT drink alcohol, smoke, take aspirin for 24 hours after extraction.
- Rest or sleep with your head raised.
- DO NOT rinse your mouth out at all on the day of treatment
- Starting the following day, after eating- rinse your mouth with lukewarm water and salt. Continue this regularly until wound heals.
How long will it take for my gums to heal?
It will generally take several weeks for the socket from where your tooth has been removed to heal completely. During this time, you will need to follow steps like regularly rinsing your mouth with salt water, not smoking, and taking care with eating and drinking.