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Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth are usually best removed. The conditions that warrant extraction are usually so extreme that regular reconstructive work (i.e. fillings, crowns etc.) will not be effective.

As gum disease gets worse, the tooth loses support of the surrounding bone and becomes loose meaning the gum can no longer hold it in place and results in the tooth requiring removal.

Sometimes the extraction of healthy teeth is required for good oral hygiene as some badly positioned teeth can cause pain and irritation. Removing them would alleviate the pain and prevent further misalignment of more teeth. Wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth are difficult to clean and maintain which can lead to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Sometimes it is best to remove the wisdom teeth as a preventative measure against future problems.

Many times, wisdom teeth are “impacted” which means that they are in such an awkward position that they cannot emerge from the gums in the proper direction.

How are teeth removed?

First, we will usually begin by taking an x-ray of the tooth we plan to extract. The x-ray gives us a clear picture of the tooth and helps us to decide on the best way to remove the tooth. We will then give Local Anaesthetic agent all around the tooth so that the procedure is pain free and comfortable for our patient. Once numb, we work very slowly on the tooth to help to loosen it up in its socket. We proceed slowly and patiently so that the tooth becomes gradually looser. Many patients experience some degree of “pressure” on the tooth during the extraction but it should not be painful. Sometimes, teeth are firmly anchored and we need to remove them in sections. We will usually tell you if we need to do this before the extraction.

Once the tooth has been removed, we place a damp piece of gauze over the extraction site and ask the patient to bite down firmly on it. This helps to form a blood clot and stop the bleeding at the extraction site. We tell our patients to avoid rigorous rinsing and spitting for the first 24 hours after an extraction to ensure the blood clot remains in place. Also, hot liquids tend to dissolve the blood clots, so we would also advise that patients avoid hot drinks during this period.

Some degree of swelling and pain are natural after an extraction and should be expected. These can be alleviated though regular pain killers and through prescriptions which we might give you. In some case, we may even prescribe some antibiotics to help prevent infections. We reassure patients that pain and swelling should subsist in a couple of days. You may also want to avoid cleaning the extraction site with a toothbrush and dental floss for a few days following an extraction allowing it to heal completely.