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About Tooth Extraction

There are lots of reasons why you might need to have a tooth extracted. These include:

  • severe tooth decay
  • gum disease (periodontal disease)
  • a broken tooth that can’t be repaired
  • an abscess on your gums or around your teeth
  • crowded teeth – when your teeth don’t have enough space in your jaw
  • impacted wisdom teeth.

Preparing for tooth removal

Your dentist at Bayswater Dental Clinic will explain how to prepare for your procedure. It is important to let your dentist know about any medical conditions, allergies or recent surgery, as well as any medicines you’re taking.

Your dentist will discuss with you what will happen before, including any pain you might have. If you’re unsure about anything, ask. No question is too small. Being fully informed will help you feel more at ease and will allow you to give your consent for the procedure to go ahead.

Anaesthesia for tooth extraction

You’ll usually have your tooth (or teeth) removed under a local anaesthetic. This completely blocks pain from your gums, although you’ll still feel pressure. You’ll stay awake during the procedure so you’ll be aware of what’s happening. If you’re very anxious about having your tooth removed, we can discuss the level of anaesthesia and the procedure in more detail. Your dentist will advise what’s best for you.

Alternatives to tooth removal

If you don’t want to have your tooth taken out, there may be other ways to treat your tooth, depending on what’s wrong with it. Your dentist will explore all options before they remove your tooth. But sometimes removing your tooth is the best option. Your dentist will explain why, as well as the possible effects on your health if you don’t remove your tooth.

Tooth extraction bleeding

Your gum may bleed for a few minutes after you have your tooth taken out. Your dentist will give you a piece of soft padding to bite on to stop the bleeding and you’ll be able to go home once it’s stopped.

You might notice some bleeding for a day or two. The blood will be mixed with your saliva, which can make it look like there’s more blood than there actually is. But if the bleeding doesn’t stop, contact your dentist.

Tooth extraction aftercare

Before you go home, your dentist will give you advice about looking after your teeth and gums. They may recommend painkillers and an antibacterial mouthwash. They might prescribe you some antibiotics to reduce your chances of developing an infection.

You don’t always need a follow-up appointment after you’ve had a tooth removed. But if you had a complicated procedure, you might need to go back to see your dentist so they can check how you’re healing. You’ll be given a date for this.

Tooth extraction healing time

It may take you anything from a day to a few days to recover enough to return to your normal routine and go back to work. But most people can go back to their normal activities, including work, the next day.

If you had a local anaesthetic, it may take a few hours before the feeling comes back into your mouth. Your dentist may advise you not to blow your nose or sneeze violently or suck on straws after you have a tooth removed. This could disturb the healing process. You’re likely to have some discomfort for a few days after your tooth has been removed and you may have some swelling. If you use an ice pack, or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, over your jaw for the first day it will help reduce the swelling. It should settle down completely within about 10 days. You might have some bruising for a couple of weeks and your jaw may feel a little stiff for a week. Don’t force your jaw open if it’s stiff.

How long does pain last after tooth extraction?

You’ll feel some pressure in your mouth when you have a tooth removed but it shouldn’t be painful. If you do feel any pain, let your dentist know straightaway.

Your mouth may feel sore once the anaesthetic wears off. If you need pain relief, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Your dentist may suggest that you take paracetamol and ibuprofen together. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicines. If you have any questions, ask a pharmacist for advice. Some people find that their pain is worse about three days after the tooth extraction but then settles down again within a week to 10 days. This is completely normal. If you’re in severe pain and it gets worse, contact your dentist. They’ll check that nothing else is causing it, such as an infection.

Dos and don’ts after tooth extraction

  • Do take care not to bite your tongue, particularly when you speak, drink or eat until the local anaesthetic has stopped working.
  • Rest as much as possible and keep your head up to reduce the bleeding.
  • When you feel ready to eat, start with soft food that you don’t need to chew much. If possible, eat on the other side to where you had your tooth removed.
  • If your gum bleeds, bite down on a clean pad of material such as a clean handkerchief for at least 15 minutes.
  • Brush your teeth but keep your toothbrush away from the healing wound, to begin with, brushing closer to it each day. You could try softening your toothbrush in hot water before you brush.
  • Don’t have any hot food or drinks until the local anaesthetic has stopped working. Otherwise, you may risk burning or scalding your mouth.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth out for at least 24 hours. This could disturb any blood clot that has formed and you may start bleeding again. After this time, rinse gently with a salt water mouthwash. You can make this yourself by dissolving a teaspoon of table salt in a glass of hot (but not scalding) water. Rinse four times a day to keep the area clean – hold the rinse in your mouth for a couple of minutes before you spit it out.
  • Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours and don’t smoke for as long as possible, but at least for the rest of the day.

Tooth extraction cost

We will provide a treatment plan with all costs listed prior to commencing any treatment.

We are very transparent with our fees and they are published in advance.