Dental Extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. It is performed for a wide variety of reasons but is always a last resort as you can rest assured we will do everything we can to save your natural teeth. You might need a tooth removed in the following circumstances:
- Tooth decay – If the decay is severely advanced and the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth have been infected, and are unsuitable for root canal treatment.
- Impacted wisdom teeth – Sometimes our mouths are simply not big enough to accommodate these teeth. The teeth become impacted (stuck); this can cause infection and pain.
- Orthodontics (braces) – Teeth can erupt in many different positions, if this happens you may have to have teeth extracted so your other teeth can be brought into line.
- Periodontal disease – Bacterial infection under the gum damages the tissues or ligaments connecting the tooth to the gum; as the disease progresses, the bone anchoring the tooth to the jaw begins to dissolve, resulting in the tooth becoming loose.
- Teeth that have been damaged by trauma.
- Certain medical conditions may require teeth to be extracted.
Our dentist will examine your tooth and explain the reasons why your tooth needs to be extracted. We can also chat to you about the best ways to replace it if required. An x-ray will be taken to help plan the best way to remove the tooth and to see if an abscess is present. If an abscess is present we might need to give you a course of antibiotics before your tooth is extracted.
We will need to know your medical history. You must list every medication you are taking even if you have purchased it from over the counter, as some medications can complicate an extraction and your safety and well-being is always our priority.
Please tell us if you are anxious about the procedure. There is a great deal we can do to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
How the extraction is carried out
There are two types of extractions:
- Simple extraction: a simple extraction is performed when the tooth can easily be seen in the mouth. The dentist will give you a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. When the anaesthetic has taken affect and the area around the tooth is numb, the dentist will grasp the tooth using a pair of forceps; you will feel pressure but NO pain. The dentist will move the forceps back and forth to loosen the tooth in order to extract the tooth.
- Surgical Extractions: this is carried out if the tooth:
- cannot be seen in the mouth but are present below the gum.
- is partially showing through the gum
- is broken off at gum level.
A local anaesthetic will be administered to numb the area before a small incision is made in the gum. The gum is pulled back to expose the whole of the tooth or the root. The dentist then uses the same procedure as a simple extraction to remove the tooth, in some cases the tooth or root may have to be cut into pieces to be removed.
When the tooth has been removed a swab will be placed at the extraction site and you will be asked to bite on this until the bleeding has stopped and a blood clot has formed. In some cases, sutures or stitches may be required to help your gum to heal properly.
Extraction After Care
After the extraction a blood clot will form in the socket were the tooth used to be, this is NOT to be disturbed by vigorous rinsing or poking the site with your tongue or finger as it is a very important part of the healing process.
If the socket does start to bleed after you have left the dental practice, place a clean tissue or handkerchief over the extraction site and apply pressure by biting down, the bleeding will normally stop within a few minutes. Again do NOT disturb the blood clot. If the bleeding does persist please contact your dentist for further advice.
Your mouth will still be numb for an hour or so after the local anaesthetic, please take care not to bite your cheek or tongue or burn your mouth when drinking hot liquids.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol for 24 hours as these can have an effect on the healing process
You may be in discomfort after the anaesthetic has worn off, take a household painkiller (headache tablet) following the manufacture’s instructions. Do NOT take Aspirin as this may cause the socket to bleed.
If you have any questions at all after having a tooth removed then please don’t hesitate to contact us as we are here to help you. After a few days the extraction site should be much more comfortable as it begins to heal, but if the discomfort increases then please get in touch with us. Sometimes the blood clot protecting the extraction site can become dislodged and you might need some additional treatment to clean out the socket so it can heal more easily.
Please note that the extraction of teeth is a surgical or invasive procedure that carries risks.