In earlier times, people often had teeth extracted due to dental problems. These days however, teeth are extracted less frequently as retention of teeth is nearly always better then extraction. There are however times when a tooth cannot be saved in any other way, and an extraction is the best treatment option. At Southside Dental Group our aim is to achieve the best outcome over the long term, whilst giving our patients the most satisfactory function & appearance possible.

Important facts

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. There are two types extractions:

  • Simple extractions (Performed on teeth that can be seen in the mouth)
  • Surgical extractions (Performed on teeth that are broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet)

Research shows that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammtory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can greatly decrease pain after a tooth extraction.

X-rays are taken as a precautionary measure by dentists at Southside Dental Group to avoid complications that may arise during the procedure.

The length of the procedure can vary from 15 min – 30 min for simple extraction and 30 mins – 60 mins for a surgical extraction.

The time taken for the extraction will be dependent on the following factors:

  • Number of roots of the tooth
  • Length of the roots
  • Position of the tooth
  • Amount of tooth remaining above the gum line

Why do I need my tooth extracted?

Teeth may have to be removed for several reasons as below:

Extensive damage to a tooth
If the tooth is badly decayed or rotted or even damaged due to trauma.

Periodontal disease
Poor dental hygiene and a build up of plaque and calculus “tartar” can cause gums to become inflamed and infected “periodontal disease”. If this is not treated promptly the underlying bone and supporting tissues of the tooth are likely to be damaged. Despite treatment, the infection may cause the tooth to become loose, whereby the tooth will need to be removed.

Prevention of complications
If badly diseased teeth are not extracted promptly, complications such as infection or abscesses in the teeth or roots, or the spread of infection through the blood stream to other parts of the body, may occur. This may affect your general health.

To improve appearance
As part of orthodontic treatment or a treatment plan to improve the appearance of teeth, our dentists at Southside Family Dental may recommend removing a tooth which interferes with another.

Teeth with no function
A tooth without an opposing partner to grind against during chewing may be better removed.

Vertical cracks in a tooth root
A root may shift and split, and crack upwards or downwards. If repair is not possible, extraction may be necessary.

Will my extraction be difficult?

The method of extractions vary depending on the type of tooth and its roots, and its position in the jaw. Some teeth are relatively easy to remove, while others can be difficult. Difficult extractions are usually due to:

  • Adjacent teeth having crowns or large restorations (fillings)
  • The tooth being in an abnormal position and affecting neighbouring teeth
  • A nerve lying near the tooth to be extracted
  • Roots that are large and curved, or that penetrate deeply into the jaw bone
  • An unerupted or impacted tooth, or a tooth that is fused to the jaw bone (ankylosis)

What complications can happen during extractions?

Bleeding (Haemorrhage)
Highly uncommon, however may occur. At Southside Family Dental, we provide you with extra gauze to take home which normally stops to bleeding by applying pressure by biting gently on the gauze for 15 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop contact and we are not open, you can always contact your dentist on our after hours number.

Dry Socket
Occurs if the blood clot that normally forms in the socket is washed away or dissolves, exposing the bone underneath and allowing an infection to form. Dry sockets will cause constant throbbing pain which can last for several days. If you are experiencing pain like this please call us immediately.

Infections in both gum and bone can occur after extractions. Signs of infection include:

  • Fever
  • Bleeding
  • Increasing pain

Sinus Problems
Roots of some upper teeth may be close to the sinuses. Sometimes the sinus may be opened on extraction. Usually the opening will heal quickly, however if infection sets in or other problems occur, further treatment may be necessary.

Numbness or altered sensation
If a nerve is bruised or injured during extraction, numbness, tingling and loss of feeling in the teeth, gums, cheeks, lips, chin and tongue may occur. This usually disappears after a few weeks however complete healing of the nerve may take 6 – 18 months. Rare cases have reported of no healing completely and permanent numbness or altered sensation.

Damage to a nearby tooth or fillings
Although this is a rare occurrence, fillings or teeth next to the tooth to be removed may be chipped or loosened during the procedure.

Thinning of jaw bone
Thinning and fragility of jaw bone can become significant if many teeth are removed. to reduce thinning the jaw bone needs to have daily chewing pressures exerted on it. Our dentist at Southside Family Dental may recommend dental implants or dentures to help prevent thinning.

How can I take care of the extraction site after the procedure?

  • Rest at home after the extraction
  • Depending on the number of teeth removed, you may need to take time off work
  • Avoid drinks containing alcohol while you are taking pain killers or antibiotics
  • Avoid smoking for the first 48 hours
  • Eat soft foods for the first two days
  • Use ice packs to reduce any swelling and pain

What is the cost of an extraction?

Tooth removal $250 – $450
Wisdom tooth removal $350 – $450

(Costs are dependant on difficulty / time required for procedure – dentists will give a quote before starting any procedure. Prices listed are prior to you claiming back from your private health funds which can be directly done from our clinic. All private health funds are accepted at Southside Family Dental.)