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Tooth Removal

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from the mouth. This may be required due to decay, gum disease, a broken tooth or infection. 

The tooth will be numbed with a local anaesthetic before the procedure. Sometimes the removal involves cutting the tooth into sections or cutting the gums and supporting bone (usually described as a surgical extraction).

Risks can include:

  • Dry socket – where a blood clot fails to develop in the tooth socket, or if the blood clot becomes dislodged 
  • Nerve injury – this can cause temporary or permanent problems, such as tingling or numbness 
  • Infection – signs include a high temperature, yellow or white discharge from the extraction site, and persistent pain and swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Swollen mouth and cheeks – this will be worse for the first few days but will gradually improve; gently pressing a cold cloth to your face helps reduce the swelling
  • Bruising of your cheek – the skin may be bruised for up to 2 weeks
  • Stiff/sore jaw – this should wear off within 7 to 10 days
  • Pain – this is worse if the extraction was difficult or complicated
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth

Your dentist will advise you of any likely complications before treatment and can answer any questions you may have.