What is an extraction?
When your dentist refers to the term extraction, it simply means to take a tooth of your mouth. This may be necessary if a tooth is very decayed, damaged or has become loose due to gum disease.

Sometimes children’s teeth are taken out to give new or remaining teeth enough room to grow.

What does this treatment involve?

  • Your dentist will have to decide the best way to take the tooth out, as some teeth are relatively more difficult to take out, depending on their size, shape, its position within the mouth or the shape of their roots
  • Your dentist might also discuss other treatment you need. You may need an immediate replacement denture or if you already wear a denture, it can be made with a new tooth at the same visit
  • There is no need for concern, as you will feel no pain whilst the tooth is being extracted. Although, you may feel some pressure as the tooth is eased out
  • After the extraction your dentist will give you a pad to bite on in order to stop the bleeding. Your dentist will also give you advice on how to look after your mouth, so that it heals properly and does not get infected

What to do after an extraction?

It is important to look after your mouth after you have had a tooth taken out, so that you can speed up the healing process and prevent infection. Here is some general advice for looking after yourself.

  • After an extraction a clot will form in the hole left by the tooth. It is important not to disturb the clot, as it may cause the socket to start bleeding again. Therefore, for the first 24 hours , you should avoid exercise for the rest of the day. Also, do not smoke, drink alcohol or eat hot food
  • 24 hours after the extraction, add half a teaspoonful of salt to a glass of warm water and gently rinse your mouth. This will keep the socket clean and prevent infection. This process should be repeated after meals and before bed for up to a week
  • To keep your mouth clean, you should continue with your normal daily routine of brushing your teeth with toothpaste
  • After an extraction it is quite common for small pieces of bone to work their way out of the socket and for there to be some swelling or discomfort
  • If the bleeding does not stop you can either use clean cotton handkerchiefs or some gauze, which your dentist may supply you with
  • Roll some small firm pads into a size that will fit over the socket
  • Remain sitting up and use the gauze or handkerchief to clean away any blood around the socket
  • You should then place a pad across the socket and bite down on it for 10 to 15 minutes. If it has not stopped bleeding you should apply another pad
  • If the bleeding has not stopped within two hours, you should contact your dentist