Removal of Teeth

Why Remove Teeth?

There are usually two reasons why we need to remove a tooth:

  • When the tooth is damaged beyond practical repair.
  • When the tooth is not well positioned or nonfunctional.
Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth are usually best removed. The conditions that warrant extraction are usually so extreme that regular reconstructive work (i.e. fillings, crowns etc.) will not be effective.

If the gums have been badly damaged through (periodontal) disease, sometimes this can result in a tooth requiring removal. As gum disease gets worse, the tooth loses the support of the surrounding bone and becomes loose. The gums can no longer hold it in place.

Sometimes the extraction of healthy teeth is required for good oral hygiene. Some teeth that are badly positioned to the point of pain and irritation may need to be extracted simply to alleviate the pain and to prevent further misalignment of more teeth. Wisdom teeth often fall into this category. The wisdom teeth are at the back of the mouth and are difficult to clean and maintain. Improper cleaning of the teeth can lead to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Sometimes it is best to remove the wisdom teeth as a preventative measure against future problems.

Many times, wisdom teeth are “impacted” which means that they are in such an awkward position that they cannot emerge from the gums in the proper direction.

When orthodontic treatment is required, some teeth, including the wisdom teeth, may need to be removed to help improve the alignment of the teeth. When the size or number of a person’s teeth is not in proportion to a person’s jaw, the strategic removal of some teeth may be necessary.

How are teeth removed?

First, we will usually begin by taking an x-ray of the tooth we plan to extract. The x-ray gives us a clear picture of the tooth and helps us to decide on the best way to remove the tooth. We will then give Local Anaesthetic agent all around the tooth so that the procedure is pain free and comfortable for our patient. Once numb, we work very slowly on the tooth to help to loosen it up in its socket. We proceed slowly and patiently so that the tooth becomes gradually looser. Many patients experience some degree of “pressure” on the tooth during the extraction but it should not be painful. Sometimes, teeth are firmly anchored and we need to remove them in sections. We will usually tell you if we need to do this before the extraction.

Once the tooth has been removed, we place a damp piece of gauze over the extraction site and ask the patient to bite down firmly on it. This helps to form a blood clot stop the bleeding at the extraction site. We tell our patients to avoid rigorous rinsing and spitting for the first 24 hours after an extraction to ensure the blood clot remains in place. Also, hot liquids tend to dissolve the blood clots, so we would also advise that patients avoid hot drinks during this period.

Some degree of swelling and pain are natural after an extraction and should be expected. These can be alleviated though regular pain killers and through prescriptions which we might give you. In some case, we may even prescribe some antibiotics to help prevent infections. We reassure patients that pain and swelling should subsist in a couple of days.You may also want to avoid cleaning the extraction site with a toothbrush and dental floss for a few days following an extraction allowing it to heal completely.

Post Operative Instructions

1. Eating & Drinking.

We advise a soft diet after having a tooth removed. Take care to ensure that food does not become trapped in the socket where the tooth was. Please avoid consuming any alcohol or hot after the extraction, especially if the local anesthetic effect is still present.

2. Rinsing.

Do NOT repeatedly rinse your mouth out after your extraction. A blood clot forms in the socket where the tooth was; frequent rinsing will tend to dislodge this clot and the socket will start bleeding.
24 hours following the extraction, you should rinse your mouth with warm salty water (a half teaspoon of salt in a warm glass of water). Repeat this 3-4 times a day after meals

3. Cleaning.

Please continue to brush your teeth as normal. Take care not to disturb the healing socket.

4. Bleeding.

If bleeding occurs after leaving the clinic, please do the following:
– Roll a handkerchief / tissue into a small pad (about the thickness of your finger).
– Place it over the bleeding socket and bite down on it for 20-25 minutes. If after this period, bleeding is still occurring, please contact the clinic immediately (Tel: 01 6655900).
(Bear in mind that minor oozing from the extraction site can occur for up to 24 hours after having the tooth removed.)

5. Swelling.

You should expect to have some swelling after the extraction. This can take upto 10 days to resolve in some cases.

6. Smoking.

We strongly recommend that you avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products for the 24 hours following the extraction. Cigarette smoke can delay or prolong the healing of the extraction site, and in some cases, can increase the risk of post operative pain  (Dry Socket).

7. Pain Control.

You should expect to have some discomfort following an extraction. If you think you may require pain killers, please ask one of the dentists at the clinic.

8. Stitches.

If you have had stitches (sutures) placed after an extraction, please do not touch them or pull at them. You should return to us one week after the extraction to have these stitches removed unless dissolvable stitches were placed. We will tell you this before you leave the clinic.

9. Local Anaesthetic.

The type of anaesthetic used by dentists can leave your lip and other soft tissues numb for up to 4 hours. Please be extremely careful not to bite your lip or cheek during this time period. (This is especially important for parents to take note of if their child has had local anaesthetic.)
In addition, take care not to burn yourself with very hot drinks – you will not realise what has happened until after the anaesthetic effect has worn off.

Opening Hours

Monday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Tuesday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Wednesday 8.00am - 7.00pm
Thursday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 7.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday 9.00am - 3.00pm
Sunday Closed
Bank Holidays Closed

Contact Us

7 Grand Canal Wharf, South Dock Rd, Dublin 4
Eircode: D04 R860
Phone: 01 6655900
Fax: 01 6655901
Website: http://shelbourneclinic.ie
Email: info@shelbourneclinic.ie

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