Your dentist may recommend a tooth be removed if it is badly infected, cannot be repaired, or is at high risk for causing you pain in the future. Talk to your dentist to make sure you understand why this tooth is recommended for extraction, and what will happen during treatment. The information provided below is intended to help you understand your treatment. Please do not hesitate to talk to your dentist if you have any other questions or concerns. We are here to help you!
Lots of pushing and pulling! You will be well frozen and should not feel any pain, but some people are surprised at how much pressure there is. If the tooth is badly broken down or stuck behind another tooth, the dentist may also have to cut the tooth into pieces or remove a little bit of bone. In this case you will also feel some vibrations, and there will be water to keep the area clean and cool. Dental xrays are mandatory.
If you are very nervous, please talk to your dentist about sedation.
The risk of an infection is about 3%, this is usually very low relative to the risk of NOT having treatment. For upper molars, there is a small risk of developing a little hole into your sinus, which rarely involves any further treatment but may require antibiotics and a decongestant. Occasionally, a small piece of bone will come out with the tooth. For lower molars, there is an extremely low risk (about 1 in 700) of developing permanent numbness of the lower lip, chin, and side of the tongue. Temporary numbness that lasts two to three months is more common. Your jaw may also be quite sore from being propped open and the pressure. Other very rare risks include fractures to other teeth, fillings, crowns, or bone. Please let us know if you are planning to travel.
Some bleeding in a healthy adult usually lasts one or two days. Swelling and discomfort is usually greatest about three days following treatment, and will slowly improve after that. In rare cases, it can last for up to four weeks. Some individuals also experience bruising, this will last seven to ten days.
The most important things are to keep the site clean and don't lose the blood clot. Keep firm biting pressure on the gauze for at least an hour. NO rinsing, spitting, or drinking from a straw for the first 24 hours, and liquids only. Coffee, tea, and soup are all fine so long as they are not too hot! You CAN brush your teeth, but don't rinse or spit.
After the first 24 hours: soft foods ONLY, and nothing that could get stuck in the empty socket. Warm salt water rinses are fine; your dentist may also give you a special mouth rinse to use.
NO SMOKING for a minimum of three days. Smoking significantly increases your risk of infection and pain. It is important to attend any follow-up visits your dentist has booked for you.