Extractions / Oral Surgery
Adult teeth should last a lifetime with good care. However, there are some circumstances in which teeth will need to be extracted (removed).
Decay or damage is one of the main reasons teeth have to be removed. Untreated gum disease or tooth decay can lead to damage that is so serious the tooth cannot be saved. This is particularly true in cases of infection, when decay or damage spreads to the pulp of the tooth, which contains the nerves and blood vessels.
Although antibiotics and root canal treatment can sometimes treat this infection, if it cannot be cured this way the tooth may need to be removed to prevent the infection spreading. This can happen when a patient’s immune system is compromised, for example in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
If you have periodontitis, the severe form of gum disease, your teeth may have become loose as infection spreads to the bones supporting them. It may be necessary to remove a loose tooth or teeth in this case.
Having crowded teeth can also lead to the need for extraction in some patients. This is often done to prepare for orthodontics, when the teeth need to be straightened and aligned properly. It can also happen when a tooth cannot erupt through the gum because there is not enough room for it. This is often the case with wisdom teeth.
At Park Road, all of our dentists are experienced in tooth extractions, although more complex cases may be referred to a specialist.
In most cases, extractions can be carried out under local anaesthetic, numbing the area of your mouth your dentist will be working on. Once you are numb your tooth will be gently removed, cutting back any gum or bone tissue as necessary. In more complex cases the tooth may need to be taken out in pieces. Because you will be under local anaesthetic, you should feel no pain, just pressure during the procedure.
Once the tooth has been extracted, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist may place a few self-dissolving stitches in your gum to help with healing, and will get you to bite down on gauze to help stop the bleeding. You will also be given aftercare advice, which you should follow to reduce the risk of any complications.