General Dentistry

Tooth Extractions

In modern minimally-invasive dentistry, the extraction of teeth is less common than it used to be. Where possible, we would always look to preserve your natural teeth. There are, however, still instances when an extraction is clinically necessary, or when an extraction may be recommended by your dentist:

  • A tooth is impacted and can’t erupt, causing problems (common with wisdom teeth)
  • A tooth is badly damaged or infected and is not salvageable
  • Your teeth are overcrowded and the extraction of one (or more) teeth will aid orthodontic treatment to correct them
  • Your overall health is at risk from an infected tooth

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are vestigial and entirely unnecessary in our modern diets. Because our jaws no longer grow to a suitable length to comfortably accommodate our wisdom teeth, it is common for them to fail to erupt and become impacted, often damaging adjacent teeth. These teeth inevitably need to be removed to prevent further damage and infection.

How is an extraction performed?

It will depend on how complex it is to remove. Your dentist will perform an X-ray of your jaw to determine whether your tooth can be removed easily or not. In simple cases, your dentist can remove the wisdom tooth quickly under local anaesthetic. In more difficult cases (such as when the tooth has a complex root formation), you may need a surgical procedure to remove the tooth. This would be carried out by our principal dentist Dr Jonathon Cochrane, who performs our most advanced oral surgery procedures.

Does an extraction

No. With local anaesthetics and numbing agents, the most you will feel will be an odd sensation as the tooth is manipulated out of its socket. Sometimes a tooth may need to be carefully divided into smaller pieces to be removed but again, this will not cause you any pain.

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What happens immediately after
the extraction?

Your dentist will pack the socket with gauze (and sometimes collagen) to stop any bleeding. This will help a blood clot to form. Your dentist will then give you advice about certain things to avoid for the next day or two (such as smoking, exercise and eating hard foods) and what you can do to assist with the healing process. It’s normal for there to be a small amount of discomfort, swelling and bleeding after the anaesthetic wears off.

What happens in the long

Excepting wisdom teeth, it is not advisable to leave the gap left by a missing tooth unfilled, as this will affect the way the surrounding teeth sit and is likely to encourage them to move — usually to detrimental effect. We offer a variety of options to fill the gap left by a missing tooth, such as dental implants, bridges and dentures. Your dentist will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Referrals for Extractions

We’re always happy to receive referrals for any of our dental services, we treat routine to very complex cases and we also help extremely nervous patients who require sedation in order to access dental treatment.