A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. Tooth extractions are a common dental procedure but can often cause a lot of anxiety for patients. Being better informed about the extraction procedure and what to expect afterwards can often relieve some of this anxiety and help you to be better prepared for the treatment.

The most common reasons a tooth will require extraction are:

  • Trauma to the tooth following a knock to the jaw from a sporting injury or fall.

  • Deep decay or severe gum disease in a tooth.

  • Not enough space for the teeth.

Surgical Extractions

Surgical extractions are those that are performed on teeth that are not easily accessible, such as when teeth are broken under the gum line or only partially erupted. Wisdom teeth removal is also generally a surgical procedure as these are often removed whilst they are still below the gum.

Simple extractions

These are extractions performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth. A general dentist typically provides simple extractions, although they may be provided by an oral surgeon.These are extractions performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth. A general dentist typically provides simple extractions, although they may be provided by an oral surgeon.

Top questions to ask your dentist before having a tooth extraction

  1. Are there alternatives to extracting my tooth? Any dental extraction should be preceded by a discussion with your dentist about the possible alternatives to extracting the tooth.

  2. What will happen if I choose not to extract the tooth and decline any other treatment? The option to do nothing at all and the possible consequences of this should also be discussed. If the tooth is infected and causing pain, this is likely to persist and worsen and may lead to possible spread of the infection which may be life threatening. On the other hand, a tooth which is not infected but which is causing crowding may possibly be left in place. Each situation is unique and should be discussed with your dentist.

  3. What are the options for replacing the tooth following extraction? Once the tooth is removed, you may or may not choose to replace it with a prosthetic tooth. The choice not to replace it may have consequences and these should be discussed with your dentist. Furthermore, there is a range of replacement options, each with their own risks and benefits and these should be discussed.

  4. How much will the procedure cost? The expected cost of the extraction should be discussed.

  5. What are the risks of the procedure? Every extraction has risks including risks of bleeding, infection and tooth fracture. Additional risks may be present depending on the individual case and should be discussed with your dentist.


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