Extractions are only ever considered as a last option once a tooth becomes damaged or decayed beyond repair.

There may come a point where your tooth becomes damaged or decayed beyond repair. If this is the case the only option may be to have the tooth extracted. The dentist will only ever consider this as a last resort once all other possible treatment options have been discussed.


Prior to treatment the dentist will ensure that they have an up to date medical history. There are certain medications and medical conditions that may require you to be referred to hospital for the treatment.

The extraction will normally be completed under local anaesthetic. If you are very anxious about treatment it may be possible for the extractions to be performed under sedation. General anaesthetic is only used in very rare cases.

The roots of your tooth sit in a socket (hole) in your gum. Your dentist will widen your tooth socket and gently loosen your tooth before they remove it. Sometimes your dentist may need to put a stitch in the empty socket to help it heal.

You’ll feel some pressure in your mouth when you have a tooth removed but it shouldn’t be painful. If you do feel any pain, let your dentist know straightaway.


Your gum may bleed for a few minutes following the extraction. Your dentist will give you a piece of soft padding to bite on to stop the bleeding and you’ll be able to go home once it is stopped.

You don’t always need a follow-up appointment after you’ve had a tooth removed. But if you had a complicated procedure, you might need to go back to see your dentist so they can check how you’re healing. You’ll be given a date for this.

After your tooth has been removed, there are some things you can do to speed up your recovery.

  • Don’t rinse your mouth out for at least 24 hours. This could disturb any blood clot that has formed, and you may start bleeding again. After this time, rinse gently with a salt water mouthwash.
  • When you feel ready to eat, start with soft food that you don’t need to chew much. If possible, eat on the other side to where you had your tooth removed.
  • If your gum bleeds, bite down on a clean pad of material such as a clean handkerchief for at least 15 minutes.
  • Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours and don’t smoke for as long as possible, but at least for the rest of the day.
  • Brush your teeth but keep your toothbrush away from the healing wound, to begin with, brushing closer to it each day.

Benefits of extractions

Extractions help to protect your smile – extractions prevent the spread of tooth decay

Extractions can create space – teeth may be extracted prior to teeth straightening to help correct misalignments

Extractions relieve pain – once the decay and infection are gone, you will be able to talk and eat normally