There can be several reasons for having to remove a tooth surgically. Typically, the tooth is extensively decayed or fractured and is causing chronic infection and discomfort. Surgical removal is needed when simple extraction is not possible because of the condition of the tooth.
How long will the operation take?
This depends on the position of your tooth or teeth and whether the operation is being carried out with local anaesthesia alone or with additional intravenous sedation. An appointment for surgery under local anaesthesia usually lasts 60 minutes. When intravenous sedation is used, an appointment usually lasts 90 minutes. The longer time allows for the recovery period needed before you can be discharged home.
Will there be any stitches?
Sometimes stitches are needed and they are usually dissolvable. If non-dissolvable stitches are used, they are quick and easy to remove. An appointment will be arranged for this, usually one week after surgery.
Will I be in pain afterwards?
You should not feel any pain immediately after the operation as the area of surgery will be numb from the local anaesthetic. As the numbness wears off, the area might become uncomfortable and then you should take painkillers. We will supply you with these, with information about doses.
Could there be any after-effects?
This depends on the operation. If there are any issues in particular to be aware of, they will be discussed with you beforehand.
There may be swelling and bruising in the area of surgery, as well as some discomfort which might limit jaw opening. Bruising is usually at its most obvious two to three days after surgery and varies between patients. It normally resolves itself after 10 to 14 days.
The removal of buried or impacted teeth or roots may be followed by altered sensation in the area of surgery. This is due to the bruising affecting the nerves that carry sensation from that area. This is usually only a temporary condition although it can take up to six months to fully resolve itself.
When can I return to work?
This depends on your occupation and how you are after your treatment. It may be possible for you to return to work the next day. Some people need to take some time off work, especially if the operation has been carried out under intravenous sedation. We will give you appropriate advice for your particular circumstances.
Find out how to help bring about a quick recovery after an operation.