Tooth extractions

If there is no viable way for you to keep your tooth, then it will have to be extracted. However this is really a last resort and the dentist will always try and fix the problem without having to extract the tooth.

Why do some teeth need to be removed?

A tooth extraction can be carried out for a number of reasons. These include dental decay or a severe gum disease such as periodontitis. It’s only when the tooth has been so severely damaged that there is no other solution that the dentist will opt for an extraction of the tooth.

A patient might also require extractions for orthodontic reasons, for example to free up space for other teeth to grow. Quite often a braces is placed after this procedure to ensure that the teeth grow as intended. The last reason for a dentist to perform an extraction is as a preventive measure. This is often the case for wisdom teeth.

How are teeth removed?

Are you about to have one or more teeth removed? Then we can imagine it would be comforting to know what you are about to experience. The information on this page will guide you through the process.

Before the procedure begins, our dentist will inject a local anaesthetic into the appropriate area, therefore patients can rest assured that they will not feel any pain throughout. The dentist will then make incisions around the tooth to loosen it before extracting it. The extraction itself is done using a special pliers. In case the dentist is unable to remove the tooth, you will get a referral to see an oral surgeon.

Because of the anaesthesia the procedure itself is not painful at all. However, the injection sting slightly, but this only lasts for a few moments after which the area will be completely sedated.

Extraction pain

Following dental extractions, there is likely to be some discomfort after the sedation wears off. The pain should however react well to painkillers and we advise you to keep taking painkillers until you are no longer in any discomfort. Are you noticing a rise in your temperature? Don’t worry, this is very common and it will go down again after 3 to 5 days.

Swelling after an extraction is entirely normal, and is the body’s natural response. It should normally start to settle down within three days. To potentially alleviate some of the swelling we advise you to cool your face (cheek) by using a bag of ice cubes wrapped in a towel or washcloth. Do not place the bag of ice cubes directly on your cheek as this could damage the skin. Keep repeatedly doing this every 15 minutes until two hours after the procedure.

The swelling can persist up until three days and can even increase during this period. It’s also possible for your cheek to turn blue several days after the extraction. The discolouration of your very common after having a tooth extracted and will regain its normal colour after some time.

The healing of the wound

It can take up to, at most, ten days before the wound in your mouth is fully healed. It’s important to allow the blood in the wound to coagulate properly. This will allow your wound to heal faster.

You can help coagulate the blood in the wound by, at first, firmly biting into the gauze that has been applied to the wound for at least the first half hour. Repeat this in case the wound is still bleeding. Instead of gauze you can also use a clean napkin. Aside from that we advise you to not rinse your mouth on the day you had your molar extracted. Wait until 24 hours after having your molar extracted before doing so. It’s also advisable to not smoke or drink whereas both tobacco and alcohol will slower the healing process. Wait with eating, drinking or brushing your teeth until the anaesthetic has worn off. When brushing your teeth be extra careful around the area from which your tooth was extracted to prevent subsequent bleeding.

Contact us for more information

Please contact us in case any of the below is applicable after having your tooth extracted:

  • If you have a fever over 39 °C
  • When the pain or swelling does not get less after five days but instead increases
  • If the wound keeps bleeding despite having applied the aforementioned measures

Would you like more information about this treatment? Then feel free to contact us. We are here to answer your questions. Would you like to make an appointment to have your teeth checked by one of our dentists? Then please fill out the appointment form on our website.