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Extractions: The Facts You Need to Know About Tooth Removal


Ideally, your permanent teeth should last a lifetime. Although they should stay with you, we might need to remove a tooth for many reasons, including trauma or infection. Whatever the cause, we do it to prevent complications that could impact your general oral health.

You may feel nervous about having a tooth extracted, and that’s perfectly understandable. However this routine procedure has a very high success rate with few potential side effects. 

Before having a tooth extracted, it’s natural to have questions. You may want to know what will happen during the extraction process, how long it will take to recover, how to replace your tooth, and how to care for the extraction site after leaving the practice. 

This article explores dental extraction and answers many of the questions you may have about this routine procedure. 

Why Does My Tooth Need Extraction?

As dentists, we always aim to preserve teeth rather than extract them. But on some occasions, we might not be able to save the tooth, or its presence affects the health of your other teeth. Here are some of the potential reasons to extract a tooth: 

Dental Trauma

If you’ve been in an accident and a tooth is damaged beyond repair or impacts the health of other teeth, we may extract it. This helps reduce the risk of infection following the trauma. 


In many cases, a root canal treatment can save an infected tooth. But if we are unable to treat you early enough, the tooth may die, and you may experience further complications. In this instance, we may extract the tooth. 

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Although we usually get our permanent teeth from around seven years of age, our wisdom teeth will appear much later. Third molars erupt at the backs of your jaws in your late teens to mid-twenties. Sometimes they erupt without any problems. 

If your jaw is too small to accommodate the extra teeth, they can become impacted. This means the wisdom teeth grow facing the wrong direction, pressing against your other teeth or gums. In some cases, they will only partially erupt, and in others, they may not surface at all. 

Impacted wisdom teeth cause pain and swelling. They increase the risk of infection and can damage neighbouring teeth, gums, and jaw. Extracting your wisdom teeth removes any discomfort and preserves the health of your smile. 

Your Teeth Need Straightening

If your teeth are crowded and misaligned, it may be because your jaw is too small. Sometimes, before undergoing teeth straightening, the rear molars are removed to create space for the rest of your smile to spread out. 

How Are Teeth Extracted?

Simple dental extractions can be performed when adequate tooth shows above the gumline. We can easily pull a tooth like this out under local anaesthesia, and you’ll barely notice we’ve done it. The whole process is quick and painless. 

If your tooth is damaged or impacted, we may need to make incisions in your gum or break the tooth apart to remove it in pieces. If we need to perform a surgical extraction, we’ll use anaesthetic to ensure your comfort. 

What Happens During Dental Extraction Recovery?

Because your mouth may still feel slightly numb for a while after your extraction, you should avoid hot drinks or chewing until the feeling comes back. This will stop you from biting or scalding your mouth. 

Try to rest as much as possible after your extraction and avoid exercising for the rest of the day. 

The extraction site may take around 14 days to heal completely. However, any swelling should go down within two or three days. If you experience pain or swelling, you can use paracetamol, ibuprofen, and ice packs to manage your symptoms. 

Avoid using mouthwash for the first day or so, and don’t brush the extraction site. After a day, use mouthwash or warm salt water to clean the area. Thoroughly rinsing reduces the risk of infection and swelling. 

You may notice some blood in your mouth for the first few days after your extraction. This is normal, and the site should clot naturally. If no clot forms, you could develop a “dry socket” where your jaw is exposed. This can be painful. If you experience any worsening symptoms, call us. 

How Can You Replace Extracted Teeth?

Once a tooth is extracted, it’s best to replace it. This helps minimise the risk of gum disease, dental drift, and jaw bone resorption. A new tooth will improve the appearance of your smile and help you chew. 

Your options will include: 

  • Bridges – This fixed option use dental crowns or metal clasps to support a lifelike replacement tooth
  • Partial dentures – These are removable replacements for your teeth and may use clasps to hold custom-made dentures that fill any gaps. 
  • Dental implants – Implants are titanium screws that join bespoke replacement teeth to your jaw. They provide unparalleled stability. 

Dental Extraction in Canary Wharf

Sometimes dental extractions are necessary, but when you need us to remove a tooth, we’ll ensure you feel comfortable and supported throughout —and we can help you find the best solution for replacing any lost teeth. 

Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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