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Dentist Equipment

What is Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is covered on all of our dental insurance policies with Bupa and Unum.

If you want to ensure that you get the best care for your tooth extraction, sign up for one of our dental insurance policies today to ensure the oral health and hygiene of you and your employees.

If your tooth is damaged or decayed and can’t be repaired with a filling or crown first, your dentist may decide to remove (extract) the tooth as a last resort.  There is also wisdom tooth removal.  Your dentist will talk through all the different options with you, as generally extraction is the last option, but can often be the best, leading you to have restorative replacement treatment as a follow-up. We advise that if you feel that you may need a tooth extraction, to contact your dentist.  Our dental insurance policies work with your current dentist, be it NHS or private, so there is no need to change dentists.


Why might I need a tooth removed?

There are lots of reasons why you might need to have a tooth removed. For example, if you have:

  • Severe tooth decay

  • Gum disease (periodontal disease)

  • A broken tooth that can’t be repaired

  • An abscess (a collection of pus) on your gums or around your teeth

  • Crowded teeth – when your teeth don’t have enough space in your jaw

  • Impacted wisdom teeth


These reasons differ for adults and children but rest assured that our dental insurance policies can be extended to cover all of the family members of each of your employees.

Your dentist will usually remove a tooth in your dental surgery. But sometimes an oral surgeon will do the procedure in hospital if your extraction is more complicated. You can usually go home on the same day.

It is important to be prepared and your dentist will tell you what you need to do.  They will need to know your medical history and it’s important to let them know about any medical conditions, allergies, or recent surgery, as well as any medicines you’re taking.  They will also talk you through the who procedure telling you what will happen before, including any pain you might have.

Anaesthesia for tooth removal

You’ll usually have your tooth (or teeth) removed under a local anaesthetic. This completely blocks pain from your gums, although you’ll still feel pressure. You’ll stay awake during the procedure, so you’ll be aware of what’s happening. If you're nervous, ask your dentist about sedation, as general anaesthetic is only used for specific cases or exceptional circumstances.

The procedure: tooth removal

  • Once you’re sitting comfortably in a chair, your dentist will inject a local anaesthetic into the area around your tooth or teeth. They’ll wait a few minutes to allow the injection to work and ask you a few questions to see if it’s taking effect.

  • 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.

Aftercare for tooth removal
  • Your gum may bleed for a few minutes after you have your tooth taken out.

  • 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’s stopped.

  • Before you go home, your dentist or surgeon will give you advice about looking after your teeth and gums. They may recommend painkillers and an antibacterial mouthwash. They might also prescribe you some antibiotics to reduce your chances of developing an infection.

  • If you have had a general anaesthetic or sedative, you’ll need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic or sedative have worn off. Ask a friend or family member to take you home and ask them to stay with you for a day or so while the anaesthetic wears off.

  • 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.

Recovering from tooth removal
  • Most people can go back to their normal routine the same day. Only if you have a more difficult surgical extraction, will it take a few days to recover. See how you feel and follow your dentist’s advice.

  • If you had a local anaesthetic, it may take a few hours before the feeling comes back into your mouth. Don’t have any hot food or drinks until it comes back otherwise you might burn or scald your mouth. Also take care not to bite your tongue, particularly when you speak, drink or eat. Rest as much as possible and keep your head up to reduce the bleeding.

  • Your mouth may feel sore once the anaesthetic wears off. If you need pain relief, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Your dentist may suggest that you take paracetamol and ibuprofen together. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicines. If you have any questions, ask a pharmacist for advice.

  • Some people find that their pain is worse about three days after the procedure, but then settles down again within a week to 10 days. This is completely normal. If you’re in severe pain and it gets worse, contact your dentist. They’ll check that nothing else is causing it, such as an infection.

Tips to make sure the tooth removal area heals properly

  • Don’t rinse your mouth out for at least 24 hours after a tooth removal. This could disturb any blood clot that has formed, and you may start bleeding again.

  • After 24 hours, rinse gently with a salt water mouthwash (made using salt and hot, but not boiling water), four times a day to keep the area clean.

  • Eat soft food once you first have your tooth removed, so you don’t have to chew much.

  • 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. You could try softening your toothbrush in hot water before you brush.

  • You may have stitches, depending on which tooth was removed, and why. The stitches will dissolve by themselves within a week to 10 days, so you won’t need to have them removed.

  • It’s important to brush these carefully for three to four days after your surgery to stop food getting trapped. But be careful so you don’t dislodge any newly-formed blood clots that may have formed over your empty tooth socket.

Side-effects of tooth removal

  • After your tooth is removed, you may have some side-effects, which shouldn’t last long.

  • You’re likely to have some discomfort for a few days afterwards and you may have some swelling. You can use an ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a towel to reduce the swelling. Your discomfort should settle down completely within about 10 days. You might have some bruising for a couple of weeks and your jaw may feel a little stiff for a week. Don’t force your jaw open if it’s stiff.

  • You might notice some bleeding for a day or two. The blood will be mixed with your saliva, which can make it look like there’s more blood than there actually is. But if the bleeding doesn’t stop, contact your dentist.

Complications of tooth removal

Complications are when problems occur during or after a procedure. Complications of having a tooth removed include:

  • Damage to other teeth. This might happen when your dentist removes your tooth, particularly if the teeth next to the one being removed have a large filling or crown.

  • Sensitive teeth. The teeth next to the one that’s removed may feel sensitive and this may last several weeks.

  • Poor healing. If the blood doesn’t clot in your tooth socket, it won’t heal properly. This is called dry socket and can be very painful. You’re more likely to develop dry socket if you smoke or take oral contraceptives. See your dentist straightaway. They’ll put a dressing in the socket and prescribe you some antibiotics.

  • A nerve injury. You might get a tingling or pins and needles or a numb feeling in your gum near the tooth socket. This may be caused if your nerves are bruised in the procedure, but it won’t usually last long.


If you think you may have complications from a tooth extraction, seek advice from your dentist as soon as possible.

If you would like to find out how dental insurance can support you and your employees, please contact us to find out more.

Contact us today

Call us on 0800 0857 123  or submit a form for a free quote

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