Harris Dental Boutique


Tooth Removal


Everything you need to know about having a tooth removed.

If a tooth has been broken or damaged by dental decay and is beyond repair, your Dentist may recommend your tooth be extracted.

Apart from damage or dental decay, there are other common reasons you may need a tooth removed:

What Type of Tooth Removal Will You Need?

There Are Generally Two Types of Extractions:

How to Prepare Yourself for a Tooth Removal:

Ensure you provide your full medical and dental history and a list of all the medicines you take. This should include prescription and over-the-counter medication, along with vitamins and supplements which may need to be stopped or reduced when having a tooth removed.

Your Dentist will take an X-ray of the area to plan the best way to remove your tooth. If you are having wisdom teeth or multiple teeth removed, they may recommend an OPG, a Dental CBCT. This X-ray captures all of your teeth at once and will show several things that help to guide your Dentist during your tooth removal, including:

Your Dentist may prescribe antibiotics, to be taken before and after your tooth removal. This varies from patient to patient, but you are likely to need antibiotics if:

If you are worried or anxious about dental treatment, you may like to consider having your treatment completed under sedation also known as Sleep Dentistry.  If so, your Dentist will prescribe medication for you to take before your appointment.

What to Expect During Your Tooth Removal:

During an extraction, you can expect to feel pressure, but no pain. If you feel any pain or pinching, tell your Dentist right away.

What to Expect After Your Tooth Removal:

After your extraction, you will need someone drive you home and stay with you if you have had sedation. You will be given post-surgery instructions, and it is very important that you follow these instructions to avoid any infection or complications.

After your tooth removal, you may need to bite on a piece of gauze for 20 or 30 minutes. This allows the blood in the socket where your tooth once was to clot. You may still bleed a small amount, but this should taper off over the following 24 hours. It is important you do not disturb the clot that forms on the socket.

Your Dentist will decide if you need stitches, and whether they be stitches that dissolve or stitches that need removing. Dissolving stitches will usually take one to two weeks; rinsing with warm salt water will help your stitches dissolve.

How to Manage Your Pain After Having a Tooth Removed:

Having a tooth removed is surgery and you can expect some discomfort, even after a simple extraction. Surgical extractions generally cause more pain after the procedure than simple extractions.

Ice packs on your face will help to reduce any swelling, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. If your jaw is still sore and stiff after any swelling goes down, you can try warm compresses.

Your Dentist may prescribe pain medication; however, most pain is gone after a couple of days. If you can take an anti-inflammatory drug, this can decrease the pain greatly.  Take the first tablets before your local anesthesia wears off and continue taking them for about three days. Your Dentist will recommend the appropriate dose for you.

It is recommended that you eat soft and cool foods for a few days.

Twenty-four hours after your tooth removal, you may gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater; this will keep the area clean and help the healing process.  Healing will take at least two weeks.

After Your Tooth Extraction You Should Avoid:

Smoking, using a straw and spitting causes an action in your mouth that can pull the blood clot from your socket, leading to complications. Smoking also reduces blood flow to the mouth which can slow healing. 

What to Watch out for 3-5 Days After Your Tooth Removal:

The most common complication after a tooth removal is a dry socket.  A dry socket occurs when the blood clot does not form in your tooth socket or it breaks down too early.  This can be very painful and usually occurs during the first five days after your tooth removal. To ease the pain of a dry socket, your Dentist will rinse out the empty socket, remove any debris and apply a medicated dressing to protect the area. A dry socket should take seven to 10 days to heal.

Other Potential Problems Include:

Call Dr Linc If:

To find out more read this article about Having a Tooth Removed.