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We’d love it if we never had to extract a tooth again and we will never extract one unnecessarily.  But the sad truth is, from time to time it is necessary. 

A tooth may be causing an infection such as an abscess, or have too much decay for us to be able to fill it.  Or you may just not have room for all your teeth and need to have two or more extracted to relieve the overcrowding and so that we can straighten them.  Gum disease, which results in loose teeth, may be another reason we have to remove one or more teeth.

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, also often need to be extracted.  They may come through crooked because the mouth is already full, or get stuck and only emerge partially, causing pain because they’re impacted on other teeth or on bone.  If they only come through partially they may also develop decay because it’s hard to clean them properly.

Many people are scared of having teeth extracted but with modern anaesthetics there really is nothing to worry about.  Before extracting any tooth the dentist will numb your mouth with a powerful local anaesthetic.  They will then hold the tooth with forceps and rock it backwards and forwards to loosen it from the jawbone.  We do our best to be gentle and minimise any discomfort during the process. 

Once the tooth is out, the dentist will plug the hole with a wad of gauze and get you to bite down on it to stop the bleeding.  Larger holes may need stitches, which are usually self-dissolving.

You will probably have some discomfort after an extraction, especially if there was already infection in the area, under certain circumstances we may suggest you take some mild pain-killers to take for the first few days until it subsides.  And it’s comforting to know that any pain you have will be far less than what you would have suffered eventually if the tooth had not been extracted.

Whatever the reason for the extraction we will always make it as painless as possible and (unless the teeth are being taken out to make space for straightening) we have a variety of options to fill the gaps after extractions and keep you smiling with confidence.

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Last Updated on: 02/10/2016
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