When a tooth is too damaged to be saved or a crowded wisdom tooth is causing discomfort pain, swelling or bleeding, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction is a relatively routine dental procedure where, under local anaesthetic, the tooth and root are completely removed from the mouth. When the tooth is visible, your dentist will loosen the tooth in its socket before pulling it out.
For teeth below the gum line, such as broken or wisdom teeth, a small incision will be made in the gum in order to access the tooth. After the extraction, the gum will be sutured to aid healing.
After an extraction, a compress is usually applied. Some bleeding is normal and a blood clot should form in the gums at the extraction point as the healing process begins. It is important not to dislodge the clot if possible, to avoid drying out the tooth socket.
Once the anaesthetic wears off, your mouth may feel a little sore, but this should only last for a day or two. Swelling can be reduced by using an icepack for short periods of about 10 minutes at a time.
After an extraction, you should avoid hot drinks, smoking, using mouthwash or brushing the extraction site.
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