Unfortunately, there are times when a tooth extraction is needed to restore the full function and health of the mouth. Tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.
But if a tooth cannot be saved, an extraction may be necessary. This may be when:
More rarely, some medical conditions or treatments may require infected teeth to be extracted.
If the tooth is visible, your dentist will numb the area with a local anaesthetic then perform a simple extraction. If the tooth cannot be seen or is broken at the gum line, your dentist may have to remove some of the gum in order to remove the remaining pieces. In some cases, an x-ray may be necessary to plan the extraction.
In most cases after an extraction, bleeding or swelling ends within a day or two. To minimise any swelling you can place an ice pack on the side of your face. If your jaw is still sore after the swelling goes away then you can use a warm compress in its place. Simple extractions generally do not cause too much discomfort after the operation.
In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and taking over-the-counter analgesic anti-inflammatory drugs for a couple of days to help reduce pain. For more complex extractions, we may prescribe some painkillers to help relieve discomfort and in certain cases antibiotics. If you have stitches, they should dissolve in a few days, or sometimes need to be removed by the dentist.
It is also normal for a blot clot to form after an extraction. You should avoid excess rinsing or smoking which can dislodge the clot, which naturally protects the gum and bone. After an extraction, the initial healing generally takes around a couple of weeks.
We recommend eating softer foods for the first week, until you feel comfortable eating other harder foods. After 24 hours, you can gently rinse the area with warm salt water in order to keep it clean. Following your extraction, we will give you written post-operative instructions to take home with you so you won’t have to worry about remembering everything. Whenever you need, we are always on hand at the practice to help, should you require advice about your recovery.Back to General Dentistry
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