Why do you need an extraction?

Teeth extractions are a common dental procedure generally performed if a tooth has become badly decayed or infected; it is often the quickest route to resolve pain. Extractions tend to be the last case scenario once all other options have been exhausted.

Most tooth extractions are done by your dentist although more complex extractions may be done in hospital.

Typical treatment length

15 minutes - 1 hour

What is the process?


Extractions are usually performed under a local anaesthetic. The clinician will make sure the area is completely numb before beginning the extraction. If it has been a slightly tricky procedure the clinician may use a couple of dissolvable stitches in the gum to help the tissues heal properly.


Following your extraction the socket may bleed a little for around 24 hours, it may also cause some discomfort and swelling for a few days afterwards but this should dispel quickly. It shouldn’t cause any problems with working or going to school.

If you are in any discomfort then you can take painkillers (e.g. paracetamol) before the local anaesthetic has worn off, and regularly for a few days. Your clinician will advise you in regards to dosage.

The following day you can rinse with a salt water solution. Use one tablespoon of salt to one cup of warm water to rinse. Rinse after eating to remove debris from the area but do not use mouthwash as it will dry out oral tissues.


Avoid smoking for at least two days after an extraction, as smoking considerably increases the time it takes to heal, and can cause infection called a dry socket.

Avoid hot drinks immediately after the extraction and be careful not to bite your lips or tongue whilst the anaesthetic is wearing off.

Avoid rinsing your mouth during the first day after extraction as this will wash out the blood clot from the socket which can cause dry socket.

Options to replace missing teeth

Your clinician will be able to advise you on the most suitable option:

  • To accept the gap
  • To have a bridge
  • To have a denture
  • To have an implant