Tooth extraction

A dentist is using dental pliers to extract a tooth from a female patient.

What exactly is an extraction of a tooth?

Sometimes, people have to pull a tooth out. This is known as a tooth extraction. This procedure is generally done by a dentist or an oral surgeon. There are many reasons you may need the tooth removed. Find out what you can expect prior to and following the procedure.

What are the reasons you might need extractions of teeth?

There is a chance that you will need to have one of your teeth extracted in the event of:

  • Gum disease that is severe
  • a deep infection in a tooth
  • broken tooth
  • orthodontic causes
  • issues with the wisdom tooth

Wisdom teeth, the final adult teeth to appear, can require removal. They may become stuck if they do not have enough room to grow in a proper way.

What happens during the process of removing a tooth?

If you have a tooth that needs to be extracted Your dentist will generally offer you a local anaesthetic to make your mouth numb so that there is no discomfort. Your dentist will use an instrument that is specially designed that will loosen your tooth inside the gum. When the tooth is free of its gums, your dentist can take it out of it using forceps.

If the tooth extraction you are planning to do is more complex the possibility is that you’ll require a general anaesthetic that will make you sleep.

What happens following the extraction of teeth?

Once your tooth is removed Your dentist may be required to check that you have a gum socket that is in good condition. If there was a cut to the gums during the removal of your tooth You may require an adhesive to seal the cut.

There could be blood loss and, if that is the case the dentist will typically require you to bite on a gauze piece to stop bleeding.

When the anaesthetic wears down and you are able to sleep, you’ll probably experience some discomfort. Your dentist may prescribe pain relief medication or suggest an over-the-counter medication.

You’ll likely also be advised to consume soft food or chew on the undamaged portion of your lips for a few minutes. Make sure not to bite your lips when it’s completely numb. It is best to take a break and refrain from sports that require physical activity smoking, drinking alcohol, and smoking over the next 24 hours.

The wound is likely to require between 1 and 2 weeks to recover. However, contact your dentist if you have:

  • chronic severe pain could be due to an underlying condition known as dry socket
  • excessive bleeding
  • A fever

Are there alternatives for tooth extraction?

Ask your dentist for a description of the various options for the extraction of teeth and what their benefits and potential risks are.

What is the cost of tooth extraction?

If you are covered by health insurance, be sure to check if the policy covers the extraction of teeth. If you’re having teeth extracted at your dentist’s office the procedure could be covered under the general treatment (extras) insurance. If you need to undergo surgery this is typically referred to as “major dental”. If it’s being performed in a hospital, you’ll also require the hospital’s insurance.

Also, consult the health department of your state for dental health services that are available. Children between the ages of 2 and 17 years could be qualified for free basic dental care.