The thought of having a tooth removed is never nice, but sometimes it’s unavoidable – for example, due to crowding which is when you don’t have room for all your teeth to fit comfortably in your mouth. Naturally you’ll have some questions, which is why we’ve pulled together this handy blog post with everything you need to know about getting a tooth removed to reduce any anxiety you might be feeling about this very common procedure.
Discuss with your dentist
If you have discussed having your tooth removed with your dentist, you’ll know there is nothing to fear. It’s a very common procedure and you’ll be given anaesthetic to numb the area, so you won’t be in any pain for the duration of the extraction. If you are feeling particularly nervous about having your tooth removed, our practice is specially designed to help with any phobias, with private consultation areas and IV dental sedation for inducing a state of total relaxation for us to carry out any dental work without causing undue stress or anxiety.
Day of the extraction
On the day of your tooth removal, limit your food and beverage intake – you might be told to fast from the night before if your surgery is first thing. Arrange to take the day off work, and for someone to accompany you to the surgery so they can escort you home, as you will be unable to drive yourself. Try to relax – we have a blog post on a few ways to calm your nerves which you might find useful.
How your tooth is extracted
Having a tooth removed generally falls into one of two categories – a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. A simple extraction will involve the tooth being loosened from the socket using a lever-like appliance, with forceps then used to pull the tooth free. You can expect to feel some pressure on your mouth, but there will be no pain. A surgical extraction can happen if the tooth needs to be taken out in pieces (for example if it has been too badly damaged or decayed to pull out in one whole piece), or if it has only partially erupted, like an impacted wisdom tooth, and part of the tooth is still under the gum. In this case, a small incision will be made in the gum by your dentist so that all tooth fragments can be safely removed.
After your surgery, you should follow all the prescribed medications from your dentist, from how often to take antibiotics (if required), to the type of painkillers used to manage the discomfort after the anaesthetic wears off. It can take around two weeks for your tooth socket to heal completely. To help reduce swelling, you can use an icepack against your face, and light bleeding is normal for the first 24 hours. Sleep is the best medicine, and you should try and rest after your surgery as much as possible.
Eating and drinking after getting a tooth removed
Stick to soft foods only, and do not drink anything from a straw as this can pull the blood clot out of the socket where the tooth was, which can be very painful and lengthen the recovery process. It’s also important that you avoid smoking after surgery. Don’t rinse or brush your teeth either for at least 12 hours after surgery – instead, you can gently rinse your mouth and the extraction area with a salt water solution in lukewarm water. This will help soothe your gum and reduce bacteria to prevent any infection from forming.
Still have questions? Contact us any time with your queries and concerns. You’ll find all our information on our website.