What is a dental extraction?

A Dental Extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. It is performed for a wide variety of reasons:

  • Tooth decay – If the decay is severely advanced and the pulp of the tooth has been infected, and the tooth is 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 tissue which connects 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.

Your dentist will examine your tooth and explain the reasons why your tooth may require extraction. 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 you have a very serious infection and facial swelling your dentist may give you a course of antibiotics before your tooth is extracted.

Your dentist will ask you about 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.

Tell your dentist if you are anxious about the procedure as sedation is available. We work closely with medical doctors to carry out completely safe sedation in our practice.

How the extraction is carried out

There are two types of 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 remove the tooth. You will feel pressure but NO pain.

A Surgical Extraction – This is carried out on teeth which:

  • Cannot be seen in the mouth but are present below the gum.
  • Partially showing through the gum
  • Broken off at gum level.

A local anaesthetic will be administered to numb the area completely before a small incision is made in the gum. The gum may require to be moved 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 be removed in pieces.

When the tooth has been removed a piece of gauze will be placed at the extraction site and you will be asked to bite on this to help a clot form and for bleeding to cease.

Extraction after care

After the extraction a 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 piece of gauze (provided to you after the extraction on our aftercare instructions) or teabag 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 a minimum of 24-hours as these can have an effect on the healing process

You may be in discomfort after the anaesthetic has worn off, it is always good to take some painkillers following the manufacture’s instructions. Do NOT take Aspirin as this may cause the socket to bleed.

The above instructions are very basic, all of our patients will be given an individual post-operative instruction sheet on the day of the extraction.

Hey, get in touch!

For more information or to book your appointment.