Dental Extractions and Wisdom Teeth
If your tooth has been badly damaged by decay or trauma, dental extraction can be the best way to protect the rest of your teeth and your oral health.
We will help to make you feel comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. We’ll also recommend the most suitable option for filling the gap and maintaining your smile.
Do I need an extraction?
We always try to save your teeth and prolong the life of it whenever possible, but sometimes a tooth can be too badly damaged to repair and it needs to be extracted.
We may recommend extractions if:
- the tooth is too badly damaged for a filling or root canal treatment
- the tooth has been loosened by gum disease
- too many teeth are present, causing crowding
- you’re having dentures or dental implants
What happens during dental extractions?
If we decide together that that an extraction is needed, we will explain what this simple procedure involves to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible.
Local anaesthetic will be used to numb your mouth, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
No surgery is usually required during extractions, as your dentist will gently loosen the tooth using forceps and remove it from the gum intact. However, if your tooth is badly damaged, it may need to be removed in pieces.
After the tooth has been extracted, your dentist will apply gauze to stop any bleeding and provide instructions on how to look after the socket.
What happens after an extraction?
When a tooth has been extracted, it needs to be replaced. This prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap, as well as restoring your smile.
We’ll discuss replacement options such as dental implants, bridges and dentures with you during your consultation. These may be fitted on the same day or require follow-up appointments.
Please go to the bottom of this page for instructions on how to look after the extraction site.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Your wisdom teeth typically come out between the ages of 17 and 21. While some people will never have an issue with them, others will need to have them removed.
Why do people need to have wisdom teeth removed?
We may recommend you have your wisdom teeth removed, either to stop current problems or prevent future ones from occurring. It’s common for wisdom teeth to grow into your mouth in a way that may cause discomfort or problems for other parts of your mouth.
For example, if your mouth and jaw are too small to accommodate the new teeth, they may not be able to break through the gum – when this happens, the teeth become impacted. An impacted tooth can lead to infections and other problems. Another potential issue is that the wisdom tooth may be growing at an angle that can push against other teeth, causing overcrowding and pain.
When we take x-rays of your jaw during your mid-teens, we’ll be able to tell you if it looks like your wisdom teeth may become an issue. If that’s the case, we will then discuss options for removal.
How do we remove the wisdom teeth?
In many cases, wisdom tooth removal will be a similar procedure to that of any other tooth extraction. The dentist or oral surgeon will numb the area with local anaesthetic before starting work.
If you have more than one tooth to be removed, or if the surgery is in any way complicated (for example, if the teeth are already impacted and infected), you may be referred to a specialist to have them removed. If you prefer to have the procedure done under general anaesthetic, we can also refer you to a specialist. Under general anaesthetic, you will be put to sleep for the duration of the surgery. In this case, you won’t feel anything during the procedure and will wake up after it’s finished.
Once the tooth or teeth have been removed, we will usually use stitches to help the wound heal. We will advise you of all the steps involved before the procedure.
Post Extraction Instructions: What do I do after I’ve had a tooth extraction?
- Directly after the surgery, you will need to rest and take it easy until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
- Recovery from extractions can take from a few days up to a couple of weeks.
- During the first 24 hours, you should not heavily rinse your mouth.
- After the extraction, we will ask you to bite on a piece of gauze in your mouth to help control the bleeding. You can take it out after 30 minutes.
- If bleeding persists, please use the spare gauze we provide you with and bite firmly for 30 minutes.
- A soft diet is recommended at least for the first couple of days
- After the first day, please rinse your mouth after every meal with a cup of warm water and a tea spoon of salt can help irrigate the socket and keep it clean. Do this for 2 weeks
- Alcohol and smoking should be avoided for 2 weeks because they can affect and slow the healing process.
- Please continue cleaning and brushing as per normal but be careful around the extraction site
It’s important to avoid chewing on the area of the extraction or touching it with your fingers or tongue. At this stage, it’s best to simply let it heal.
On occasion you may experience swelling or bruising around your jaw after the surgery. To help with this, you can gently place ice packs against your cheeks. In case of pain in the days following, we may also suggest anti-inflammatory painkillers to ease any discomfort. However, you generally won’t need anything stronger than what you can purchase over the counter.
If bleeding persists for more than 24 hours or another issue occurs, please contact us