The Surgical Removal of Teeth
Why am I having my tooth removed surgically?
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; this longer time allows for the recovery period needed before you can be discharged home.
Will there be any stitches?
Stitches are usually required as part of these procedures and will be dissolvable. These stitches can take up to 2 weeks to go although sometimes they break down much sooner.
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 this numbness wears off the area might become uncomfortable and you should then take painkillers. We will supply you with these together with information about doses.
Could there be any after-effects?
This depends on the nature of your operation; if there are any issues in particular to be aware of they will be discussed with you beforehand.
There may be swelling, bruising and discomfort in the area of the surgery together with some limitation in jaw opening. The bruising is usually at its most obvious 2 to 5 days after the procedure and will vary between patients; it normally resolves after 7 to 10 days.
The removal of buried or impacted teeth or roots may be followed by altered sensation in the area of the 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 6 months to fully resolve itself.
The roots of upper molar (back) teeth can be very close to the air space (antrum) within the cheekbone leading to the risk of a communication developing between this air space and the mouth following the removal of such a tooth. The likelihood of this can be very much reduced by avoiding vigorous sneezing or nose blowing for the first 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure.
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 college or work the next day but some people will need to take some time off especially if the operation has been carried out under intravenous sedation. We will give you appropriate advice for your particular circumstances.