Tooth Extraction

What is a tooth extraction?

Sometimes, you may need to have a tooth pulled out. This is called a tooth extraction. 

You might need to have a tooth pulled out if you have: bad gum disease, bad tooth decay (cavities), a deep infection in a tooth a broken tooth, orthodontic reasons e.g. overcrowding of teeth, problems with a wisdom tooth, trauma affecting your tooth or teeth, Wisdom teeth, which are the last adult teeth to arrive, sometimes need to be removed. 

What happens during a tooth extraction?

The extraction is done either under local anaesthetic at a 32 Pearls dentist’s office or general anaesthetic in hospital. If you need a tooth to be removed, your dentist will usually give you a local anaesthetic. The local anaesthetic will numb your tooth and gums so you don’t feel pain. Your dentist will then use a special tool to loosen the tooth in the gum. Once the tooth is loose, they will remove it with forceps. If your tooth extraction is more complicated, you might need to be given a general anaesthetic in hospital and in such situation 32 Pearls dentists will provide a referral. A general anaesthetic will put you to sleep.

What happens after a tooth extraction?

After your tooth has been removed, your dentist will need to make sure the gum socket is clean. The socket is the hole in the jawbone where the tooth used to be. If you needed a cut in the gum during tooth removal, you might need a stitch to close the cut. You will have a bleeding after the tooth extraction. Your dentist will ask you to bite down on a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding. Once the anaesthetic wears off, you will probably have some pain and discomfort. Your mouth may feel swollen. Your dentist might write you a prescription for antibiotics, pain relief medicine or suggest an over-the-counter medicine.

How to care after extraction?

It is important that you carefully read and adhere to the following post-operative instructions.


·         Leave the gauze pack(s), if used, in place with pressure for 30 minutes after you leave the surgery.


·         If after removing the gauze pack(s) there is still some bleeding, replace with a fresh gauze pack(s) and bite down firmly for a further 30 minutes.  Repeat if necessary.


·         It is quite normal to have a little blood in your saliva in the first few hours following surgery.  If however you are concerned that there is excessive bleeding that has not been controlled by biting on the gauze packs provided please contact the surgery on 02 8605 2261 or call your local hospital/000.


·         On the day of surgery avoid rinsing or spitting. This may dislodge the blood clot and will delay the healing process. Try not to eat or drink for the first few hours after surgery. Avoid excessively hot/cold foods for the next couple of days. We advise that you eat soft foods during the initial stages of healing.


·         You may gently rinse your mouth with warm salty water or an antiseptic mouthwash (eg. Savacol/Cepacol) the following day until the area has healed.


·         It is important to rest for the remainder of the day. If you lie down keep your head elevated with a couple of pillows.  If you require a certificate for time away from work/school please ask.


·         Expect the extraction area to be sore for up to a week (sometimes longer). Use ice packs as frequently as possible in the first 24 hours to help minimise swelling. We recommend that you take Panadol &/or Nurofen for pain relief. It is advisable to take some before the local anaesthetic wears off. If you have been given a prescription for antibiotics it is important that you take them as directed.  If you have any queries ask your pharmacist.


·         Avoid smoking & alcohol for next few days. Smoking/alcohol consumption adversely affects healing and may cause post-operative complications.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or problems.