A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the dental alveolus (socket) in the alveolar bone. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, but most commonly to remove teeth which have become unrestorable through tooth decay, periodontal disease or dental trauma; especially when they are associated with toothache. Sometimes wisdom teeth are impacted (stuck and unable to grow normally into the mouth) and may cause recurrent infections of the gum (pericoronitis).
In orthodontics if the teeth are crowded, sound teeth may be extracted (often bicuspids) to create space so the rest of the teeth can be straightened.
Tooth extraction is usually relatively straightforward, and the vast majority can be usually performed quickly while the individual is awake by using local anaesthetic.
Tooth extraction risks
Common risks of dental extraction include pain, swelling, infection, dry socket, possible conversion into a surgical extraction, sinus perforation and in rare cases nerve damage.
Individuals who are on anticoagulant therapies generally do not need to discontinue its use before the dental extraction. Warfarin users will be required to have their INR (International Normalised Ratio) tested before the procedure. Our highly skilled dentists take extra precautions to minimize post-operative complications.
There is currently no scientific evidence to support the use of systemic antibiotics in preventing post extraction infections. Chlorhexidine mouthwash is the gold standard for post extraction rinse to reduce the chances of local infection. Individuals with certain heart conditions (Eg. Repaired mitral valve), however, will benefit from antibiotic prophylaxis one hour prior to the procedure, reducing risk for subacute infective endocarditis.