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
- 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.