Why have a tooth removed surgically? There may be a number of reasons for having a tooth removed surgically. It’s usually because the tooth is badly decayed or fractured and therefore 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 to remove my tooth take? This can vary, depending on the position of the tooth and whether a local anaesthetic is being used on its own or with additional intravenous sedation. Surgery under local anaesthetic typically lasts 45 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. However, they are usually dissolvable and will disappear on their own.
Will there be pain after the surgery? 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.
Will There Be Any After-Effects? This depends on your 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 disappears after 10 to 14 days.
Due to the potential for bruising affecting the nerves, the removal of buried or impacted teeth or roots may produce altered sensation in the area of surgery. This is usually only a temporary condition although it can take up to six months to fully resolve itself.
How long will I be off work? This depends on your occupation, your treatment and the speed of your recovery. It may be possible for you to return to work the next day. However, 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 dependent on your treatment.
Download this page as a fact-sheet for printing – Surgical Removal of Teeth Fact Sheet (PDF file)
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