What is a tooth extraction and why do I need one?
A tooth extraction is the process of removing a tooth from the mouth. This is done when:
- A tooth is so badly decayed that there’s no other choice but to remove it to avoid infection or further pain.
- The pulp or nerve inside the tooth is badly inflamed or infected, and root canal is not an option for the patient.
- It’s required as part of an orthodontic plan to help with crowded teeth.
Can you tell me how you do a tooth extraction?
The tooth and surrounding gum is first numbed with local anaesthetic. Contrary to popular belief, a tooth is then not pulled out, but pushed or wriggled out using dental instruments. Afterwards, any bleeding from the gum is taken care of, and instructions for looking after the socket are provided.
I’m scared. Will it hurt? Will I need a local or general anaesthetic?
Having a tooth removed can be a daunting thought.In the vast majority of cases, the extraction can be performed painlessly with local anaesthetic at our practice. In some cases, nitrous oxide can be used to help with anxiety. Occasionally, tricky wisdom teeth or severely broken-down teeth may need to be referred to a specialist for extraction. More complex extractions with a specialist may require sedation or general anaesthetic.
How long will it take for my mouth and gums to be healed?
Usually, the socket takes a few weeks to completely heal over. During the healing period, it’s important to follow the dentist’s instructions, such as regularly having saltwater rinses (especially after meals), using pain relief, and avoiding smoking.
My wisdom tooth aches. Should I wait until it’s fully through or get it out? Not sure what to do.
Wisdom teeth can cause trouble when they’re emerging through the gum, especially if there isn’t quite enough room for them and they become stuck or impacted. When this happens, you can develop infection and pain in the surrounding gum that can be very painful, and sometimes the wisdom tooth and the neighbouring tooth can be more prone to decay. It’s best to not put up with pain from an emerging wisdom tooth, but to see the dentist immediately if pain arises.
If you need to see the dentist, we’ll try our best to schedule you an appointment as soon as possible – please call us on 08 8278 6858.