Teeth that are damaged or infected beyond repair unfortunately have to be removed to prevent infections from developing and spreading. Sometimes a tooth may also be loosened by gum disease to the point of being unstable. Sometimes teeth may be removed to make way for a denture, implant, or in cases of crowding, other teeth. In any case, removing teeth is always a treatment of last resort, our dentists will exhaust all other options before deciding a tooth needs to removed.
X-rays are almost always required prior to an extraction. They allow our dentists to plan ahead for the procedure itself, as well as determine if there are any risks to surrounding structures in the jaw and face.
The dentist will then anaesthetise the tooth and surrounding area. This will take away any pain you may feel from having the tooth removed. You will still be able to feel the when the tooth is touched and moved, but there will not be any pain. Occasionally, if the dentist determines it is necessary, a tooth may be removed in parts instead of a single unit. This is usually done to avoid damaging surrounding structures.
After the extraction, your dentist will place a gauze swab over the socket to help stop the bleeding. This should be held in place for at least 30 minutes with firm pressure. In the first day, the blood clot will still be forming inside the socket. Therefore, you should avoid rinsing your mouth too vigorously in that time. You may also skip brushing in the area of the socket to avoid dislodging the blood clot. Our dentists will provide you with extra gauze swabs in case the blood clot is lost and bleeding continues. If you have any trouble controlling bleeding, contact our clinic during business hours or your local hospital after hours.
Your dentist will also advise you to take painkiller tablets to control any pain you may feel after the extraction. It is often best to start taking them while you are still under the effect of the anaesthetic. The numbness can last for up to 4 hours after an extraction. If numbness persists longer, please contact our clinic as soon as possible.
Extraction sockets can take around 1 to 2 weeks to heal. In that time, it is best to chew your food away from the area.
The missing gap where an extracted tooth used to sit can be replaced by a number of options. These include dentures, dental bridges, and implants. Your dentist will discuss these options with you before and after the extraction.