A tooth extraction is when a tooth is completely removed from its socket. There are a number of reasons that it might need to be removed, but usually, it is when another treatment is not enough to save the tooth, for example in the case of damage or extensive decay. If your tooth is very loose for some reason, it is likely that this will need to be removed as we may not be able to save it.
In addition to the tooth being irreparable, there are other reasons that it might need to be extracted, which we have outlined below:
Before your tooth is extracted, we will always do an x-ray to ensure that this is definitely what needs to be done. In addition, it can help us to make a plan for extraction so that we can use the method that best fits with your situation.
There are a few things which will have an impact on the way we choose to remove the tooth, and these can include:
During the process, your dentist will choose to either give you a local or general anaesthetic. General anaesthetics are a rarer choice, and will only usually be opted for if the extraction is complex, or if the patient is severely nervous.
There are two kinds of extraction methods – simple and surgical.
With a simple extraction, the dentist will loosen the tooth, and will then remove it with forceps. This is usually a quick procedure, and the recovery time is less lengthy than with a surgical extraction.
If you need a surgical extraction, this could be because the tooth has broken at the gum level, or if it is not in the mouth enough to remove it with a simple extraction. Here, your dentist will make a cut into your gum, and may even remove some of the bone around your tooth.
What happens next will depend on the kind of anaesthesia that was used. If you had a local anaesthetic, you will be able to go home quickly. However, if you have a general anaesthetic, you will need to wait a little while so that you can recover. More often than not, you will still be able to go home on the same day.
You must ask somebody to drive you home, as you should never attempt to drive yourself after a dental extraction.
Afterwards, you may find that you have some pain. We can prescribe you with some painkillers for this, but you may find that over-the-counter painkillers work just as well.
We will give you some great advice about how to take care of your mouth when you leave our surgery. Usually, we will advise you not to eat on the side of the extraction for a few days, and to avoid very hot and very cold foods. This is to help avoid pain.
You may experience some bleeding for the first 24 hours and should take care when reintroducing brushing to the nearby teeth, however, on the whole, patients will recover quickly – and well – from an extraction procedure.