Having a tooth pulled is often the last resort. Usually, your dentist would never recommend a tooth come out if it was not necessary.
Cost: Extraction from £150.
When teeth are beyond repair, tooth removal is often the best option. The dentist will walk you through your tooth replacement options during your consultation.
Reasons why you might need to have your teeth pulled
When tooth extraction might be necessary:
- Infection/risk of infection
- Severely decayed or damaged
- Failed root canals
- Dental abscess
- Impacted wisdom teeth
Process tooth extraction (having a tooth pulled)
Most tooth extractions are carried out in your dental office under local anaesthetic, with many patients returning home the same day – this means your mouth will be blocked from pain, although you will still feel slight pressure.
However, depending on the complication of the extraction, and the patient’s nervousness, sometimes an oral surgeon carries this out under sedation.
In these instances, you will be referred to a hospital for the procedure – this type of extraction is only considered for younger children or adults with learning disabilities. However, dentists may recommend it when multiple or several teeth are pulled.
What happens on the day
- Once you are ready and comfortable, we will inject a local anaesthetic into the area of your tooth.
- Allowing the injection to kick over a few minutes, we will ask you a few questions to see how the numbing agent works.
- We will widen your tooth socket and loosen the tooth; here will be able to remove the tooth.
- Some instances may require a stitch to help the empty socket heal
- You will experience slight pressure in your mouth, but it will not be painful – for those who are experiencing pain, let your dentist know immediately
- The site will bleed for a few minutes, and your dentist will provide you with soft padding to stop the bleeding – you can take this out at home once the bleeding has stopped.
Following your appointment, your dentist will give you specific instructions to follow to look after your teeth and gums.
Tooth extraction healing, recovery and aftercare
Following the procedure, as you come round from your anaesthetic, you might experience minor discomfort from the extraction site.
You can use over the counter medications like Ibuprofen for pain relief. Slight discomfort is normal, and it may feel strange getting used to the gap – we would recommend trying to avoid running your tongue across it to help it heal.
You should be able to continue with your day after a simple, routine extraction, but we always recommend seeing how you feel.
How long does the pain last after tooth extraction?
The discomfort should disappear after a few days. However, if you are in a lot of pain, speak to your dentist immediately!
Do and don’ts after tooth extraction?
- DON’t rinse your mouth out for 24 hours.
- DO rinse your mouth after one day has passed with salt water four times a day.
- DO eat soft foods
- DON’T smoke or drink alcohol
- DO brush away from the wound (building up day by day by brushing closer)
The cost will depend if you go via the NHS or private dental practices. The main difference between private and the NHS often means you get treated and seen a lot faster with private practices; this is especially useful if you need urgent dental care.
At The Perfect Smile, our tooth extractions and removals cost £150.
- The anaesthetic typically leaves your lips, teeth, and tongue numb after the appointment. For this reason, you should avoid chewing for a few hours following surgery or until the numbness has completely worn off.
- Some discomfort after the extraction is standard. An over-the-counter pain reliever is usually sufficient, such as Ibuprofen or paracetamol (not aspirin). We can also give you a prescription for stronger pain relief if needed.
- It can usually take you from 1-7 days to recover from the extraction – this also depends upon the difficulty of the extraction.
- It usually takes 1-2 weeks for an extraction site to heal.
- We would have already advised of all possible postoperative complications.
- If there is any swelling, apply an ice pack – 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off – for a few hours following the extraction.
- We will give you written instructions on postoperative care too.
- Do not rinse your mouth or eat and drink anything for a minimum of 24 hours after the extraction – this will prevent the blood clot (which seals the site and starts the healing process) from forming over the extraction site.
- After 24 hours, we recommend warm salty mouthwashes at least 3-4 times a day to help heal.
- When you feel up to eating, we advise soft foods that do not require much chewing as your jaw joints and remainder teeth may be recovering. Once the numbness has worn off, you should eat, as nourishment is essential to the healing process. Limit your diet to soft foods like yoghurt, soft soups, ice cream, or soft-cooked eggs for the first 48 hours.
- Make sure you brush and clean your teeth as usual after the initial 24 hours. Please also use mouthwash.
- It would help if you avoided smoking until complete healing has occurred.
- If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
- Relax as much as possible and avoid all strenuous activities for the first 24 hours following treatment.
- Stay hydrated, so drink at least eight large glasses of water or fruit juice each day.
- It is essential to consider replacing missing teeth to avoid moving adjacent teeth (if present) and impairing chewing function. We will advise you about suitable treatment options.
- Postoperative bleeding – this is usually controlled and stopped (hemostasis) during the surgery. This is called Immediate Bleeding. However, there can be residual bleeding approximately 48hrs after the extraction (Reactionary Bleeding). When you have an extraction, you will be supplied with a pack that will contain some cotton pads. You can use these to compress on the extraction site until the bleeding stops. If you have any bleeding problems after this, you should contact the surgery for further investigation. This will be Secondary Bleeding, and your dentist will know how to manage this.
- Pain and swelling – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the systemic analgesic of choice, e.g. Ibuprofen. External ice packs can also help to reduce any swelling.
- Dry socket is another term for inflammation of the socket’s bone lining, also called Osteitis. It is pretty standard following tooth extraction and occurs mainly after wisdom teeth or molar extractions. It usually onsets as pain 3-4 days after the extraction. The socket appears inflamed, and usually, bone is visible. The treatment includes irrigation of the site followed by an antiseptic dressing placed in the socket. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the systemic analgesic of choice, e.g. Ibuprofen. But if this is not possible, your dentist will advise the appropriate one for you.
- Postoperative infection – sometimes, you can be infected with superimposed infection; this can cause you pain and a rise in body temperature. If this happens, you must notify the surgery immediately. In most cases, you will be supplied with antibiotics to clear the infection up.
- An incomplete extraction– can be due to a complex angulation of the tooth or “hooked” root tips. In most cases, they surface after a few weeks by themselves and then can be taken out with ease. We may need to leave the tooth parts that cannot be extracted from the bone in other cases. These cases will need to be monitored closely. In some cases, you will be referred to an oral surgeon.
- Nerve damage – this is very rare. But you can get a tingling sensation or complete numbness for a few days. There is nothing to worry about in most cases, as your normal feelings should return as the site heals. If it persists, please notify the dentist as it can mean extensive damage has occurred.
- Damage to neighbouring teeth can happen when access is restricted, and there are much blood and saliva, making the surfaces of the teeth “slippy”. But with careful leverage and skill, the dentist will be able to avoid this in the majority of cases.
- Stiffness or soreness of the jaw joints – can happen when the extraction procedure takes some time. The constant opening of the mouth can lead to a stiff, sore jaw joint afterwards. Painkillers and external cold packs can help.
Medically reviewed & updated on May 24, 2022