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Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction involves removing the tooth from the jawbone, with difficult extractions possibly requiring minor surgery. Extraction can be performed under IV sedation or a local anaesthetic at our clinic or under a general anaesthetic at a local hospital. A period of healing is necessary following an extraction to allow the bone and gum to heal over the socket. Why are extractions necessary?

Sometimes patients don’t visit the dentist until they are in a significant amount of pain, which can mean two things. Either an infection has spread so far that an extraction is the only option left; or the swelling, inflammation, and pain is a result of infection and root canal therapy is required. If root canal therapy is required it can help to maintain the natural tooth. Extraction may be necessary for your oral health to combat problems such as infection, risk of infection, and overcrowding. A tooth may also be removed to pave the way for a new tooth, orthodontic treatment, when an outgrowth is occurring, or when wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Medical reasons for tooth extraction

Permanent teeth are meant to survive a lifetime, however, there are many reasons as to why you may need a tooth extracted. Minimise the risk of infection

You may be at risk of infection if you are undergoing any medical intervention that will impact your immune system. Exposed nerves or a mild infection may require the removal of the tooth. This includes procedures such as bone marrow treatment, chemotherapy, and organ transplant.

Decay or damage

Decay or damage are the most common reasons for tooth removal. Sugary foods can remain lodged in the teeth and cause decay. Sometimes a tooth can get knocked and suffer significant trauma, which will require removal.

Dental infection

If tooth decay extends to the gum and pulp of the tooth, the dentist will likely recommend an extraction. The pulp is the innermost part of the tooth that contains the blood vessels and nerves. When this happens, the dentist will likely try to use a root canal procedure. If the infection is too severe, then a tooth extraction is the only option.

Crowded teeth

Dentists will sometimes need to remove teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontic work, which is the process of aligning the remaining teeth. This is often recommended when teeth are too big for your mouth or there are too many. Teeth can sometimes remain stuck in the gum if there isn’t enough space to break out, so the dentist will have to remove the overlapping tooth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can cause the loss of bone and tissue around a tooth, which will make the tooth loose. This can make chewing difficult and result in the loss of sensation in the tooth. Depending on the extent of the gum disease, the dentist may recommend an extraction, however, gum disease does not always lead to a tooth extraction.

Heart issues

Heart procedures may be severely impacted by a tooth infection. A heart transplant, congenital heart defects, and damaged valves are some of the heart conditions that may lead to an extraction if a tooth infection is developed.

Immune system disorders

Any pre-existing immune system disorders must be discussed with your dentists. This can range from an immune problem caused by past ailments to genetic immune disorders.

You will have to mention if you have had organ failure or an organ transplant as a post-extraction infection could worsen any existing organ problems in the body. You should disclose any history of liver disease or bacterial endocarditis. You should always bring up any issues to do with current illness or medication you are taking.

What to expect during an extraction

A blood clot will form in the tooth socket after the tooth has been extracted. Your dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket for you to bite down on, which is to help stop the bleeding. Self-dissolving stitches will be used to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

It is important to make sure your doctor is aware of any medical condition you have prior to any oral surgery treatment, including any history of illness. This will allow our dentists to provide you with the best treatment for you and your oral health.

Types of extraction

There are two main types of tooth extractions: simple extractions and surgical removals. A simple extraction involves removing a tooth using a local anaesthetic. A surgical removal involves removing a tooth lodged in the gum.

Extraction aftercare

The socket will begin to heal once the blood begins to clot. Sometimes a blood clot can break and leave the bone socket exposed, which is known as dry socket. Placing a sedative dressing over the socket is the best remedy for dry socket. The gum will resume the process of healing naturally once a new blood clot forms.


Dental recovery usually takes a few days and there are several things to keep in mind during this period. Your dentist will tell you the steps you need to take during recovery and will provide you with pain medication, so you should avoid smoking while the socket heals and the gum recovers. It is recommended to eat soft foods for the first 24 hours. Extraction risks

Some of the risks you may encounter after an extraction are infection, persistent and continued bleeding, and swelling and discharge. If you experience any of these problems you should contact your dentist immediately.

Please contact our Melbourne clinic if you have any questions about extractions or wish to make an appointment.

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