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Most extractions are done using a local anaesthetic in order to numb the area around the tooth. In cases where a patient is extremely nervous, it may also be possible for the patient to be sedated which allows them to remain awake but completely relaxed during the procedure.
The tooth socket is then widened using specialist equipment and the tooth will then be gently rocked from side to side to loosen it from its socket. Although no pain will be felt, you may feel some pressure and sound when the tooth is removed from the socket. The procedure itself rarely takes more than a minute or two and, depending on the tooth, stitches may be applied to close the socket. Naturally, you may experience some bleeding after the procedure and you will be given some padding to ease this.
Your dentist will offer advice about the best way to care for your mouth following the procedure which may include advice about antibiotics and mouthwashes. Despite the temptation, you should not eat, drink or rinse the mouth for several hours afterwards in order for the body to start its own healing processes. After this period of time, the local anaesthetic will have fully worn off and you may wish to consider taking an over the counter painkiller if you are still feeling some discomfort. Should this continue however, you should contact your dentist for further advice.
After a tooth has been extracted, it will inevitably leave a space. This, and the lack of pressure against the adjoining teeth, mean that they are likely to attempt to move into that space and your teeth are then likely to become crooked and uneven. To counteract this tendency, it is advisable to replace the lost tooth with a dental implant or partial denture to prevent this from happening.