A tooth that is decayed, damaged or infected may need to be removed.
What happens during tooth removal?
Most teeth can be removed easily under a local anaesthetic. Lower teeth can be more difficult to remove. The operation usually takes between ten minutes and an hour. Sometimes a general anaesthetic is needed.
Removing a wisdom tooth can involve cutting the gum to uncover the tooth, removing bone around the tooth and dividing the tooth with a drill.
After tooth removal
You should be able to go home the same day of your operation. Depending on the difficulty of the operation and the likelihood of infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics.
You should avoid any strenuous activities for the first 48 hours to reduce the risk of bleeding, swelling and bruising. You may need to take up to a week off work.
Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities very soon after having teeth removed. As with any surgery there can be complications:
- Swelling and bruising
Specific complications of removing teeth:
- Dry socket
- Retained roots
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Sinus problems
- Broken jaw
- Not being able to open the mouth fully (trismus) and jaw stiffness
- Damage to nerves.
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