Extractions General Dentistry

There are alternatives to tooth extraction when experiencing a toothache. The first step is to visit a dental professional and have them evaluate the issue. Often, there are ways to save your tooth using a filling or root canal treatment. After these treatments, if you still experience pain in your teeth, then extraction may be necessary. Alternative treatment may include dental implants, bridges, and partial dentures, which will restore the lost teeth without requiring a full mouth extraction of all your teeth!

What Is Tooth Extraction?

In some cases, people need to have a tooth pulled out. In dentistry, it is called a tooth extraction. It is one of the common dental procedures that dental professionals perform for various reasons. Although the goal is always to save your original teeth, there are cases where other dental restorations cannot restore the tooth. Another priority is to help the patient maintain better oral health. Hence, tooth removal is done if the gums, adjacent teeth, and other parts of the mouth may be compromised.

The following are some reasons for considering tooth extraction:

Tooth extraction is a relatively quick, outpatient procedure. But, some cases require a more intensive approach that can be done in the hospital. Both general dentists and oral surgeons can perform a tooth extraction. After a thorough evaluation of your medical condition and dental history, the dentist will determine the best treatment plan for you.

The Alternatives to Tooth Extraction

There are alternatives to extraction, but finding a dentist who supports tooth preservation is very important.

Essentially, if the tooth is due for extraction, it cannot be restored, or the space is needed for orthodontic treatment. However, sometimes a tooth extraction isn’t necessary, especially if the tooth can be restored through fillings or treated with root canal therapy. Still, an alternative to tooth extraction depends on the severity of the damage or the patient’s condition.

Whenever possible, it is better to save your teeth than to lose them. The following are some possible alternatives. You can discuss these with your dentist:

Root Canal

A canal is a space in the centre of your tooth that extends to the end. The root canal procedure involves the dentist drilling a hole into the tooth and using tools to clear away the damaged or infected tissue inside the canal. The canal is then widened and permanently filled in with synthetic material to the root’s end. A root canal is usually less painful and needs less medication afterwards.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is inserted into your jaw to support a replacement tooth or bridge. Individuals who have lost a tooth or teeth due to advanced gum disease (periodontal disease), an injury, or other reasons may be good candidates for dental implants. 

The implant mimics the shape of the root and is typically made of titanium and other materials that are safe for the human body. The implant is surgically implanted into the jaw and gradually integrates into the bone to form a solid foundation for crowns.

Partial Denture

These dentures are removable and allow you to preserve a portion of your natural teeth. Many individuals consider this to be a low-cost and simple alternative. They are not, however, as aesthetic as an implant or as simple as a root canal.


An apicoectomy, or root-end surgery, is sometimes required when inflammation or infection continues following a root canal operation to save a tooth. This less invasive treatment exposes the underlying bone and removes any inflamed or diseased tissue. The root’s tip is also removed. 

A small filling seals the root canal, and a few stitches or sutures help the tissue heal. The bone recovers around the root over months. In most cases, patients return to normal activities the next day after receiving local anesthesia. Post-operative pain is usually minor.

Overall, it is essential to understand that delaying treatment for a damaged or infected tooth is often risky. Leaving the disease untreated too long can result in it spreading to other teeth. In some cases, the infection may spread to your jaw or other parts of your body. Delaying treatment should only be done under the supervision of your dentist and only for a limited period.

tooth extractions

Does a Toothache Always Equal an Extraction?

If you have a toothache, the severity and depth will usually determine the type of treatment needed. The worst-case scenario is that the tooth is irreversibly damaged and must be pulled, but there are often other options that aren’t as severe or drastic.

In some cases, a filling is all that is needed to save the tooth. While in others, it could be anything other than a toothache, such as a muscle problem.

It is essential to visit a dentist if you are experiencing toothache (especially if it happens frequently). It isn’t easy to make a diagnosis without proper consultation.

What Are the Consequences of Having a Tooth Extraction?

If your extraction is likely to take a long time or be technically complex, you should be referred to a surgeon. We will always endeavour to do what is best for the patient. There is a considerable danger of collateral injury if your case is risky and the positioning of the tooth is near to a major artery or nerve.

Undergoing tooth extraction may involve experiencing some post-operative side effects. Once the anaesthesia has subsided, you can expect some bleeding and feel pain, especially if you had a surgical tooth extraction. Twenty-four hours or two days after the tooth extraction procedure, you may observe swelling, which is normal and should subside a few days later.

While all of these are natural parts of the recovery period, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions given to you by your dentist or oral surgeon. It is to manage them and prevent complications.

 If such consequences persist, contact the dentist immediately for appropriate dental care.

What to Do After Tooth Extraction?

You will be given post-operative or aftercare instructions following tooth extraction. Your priority is to treat any side effects and avoid complications. Through these, you can help yourself to have a speedy recovery.

Here’s the list of DOs after tooth extraction:

  • Take a rest. Allowing your body to rest will help you to recover. Avoid doing any strenuous activity that may dislodge the blood clot.
  • Practise proper oral hygiene. After twenty-four hours, you may resume normal brushing and flossing, but avoid the area surrounding the extracted tooth until it has completely healed. Instead, gently rinse with warm salt water once you’ve determined that a blood clot has formed to prevent the risk of infection.
  • Eat nutritious and soft foods to help speed up your healing process. You can eat soft fruits like avocado, mashed or blended bananas, applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and blended soup. You can ask your dentist about the best diet during the recovery period.
  • Rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater. You can rinse gently (without harsh swishing) twenty-four hours after tooth extraction.
  • Alleviate the pain and swelling. Take any prescription pain medications according to your dentist’s instructions. Swelling is normal after tooth removal. Apply an ice pack on your face for about fifteen to twenty minutes.

FAQs About Tooth Extractions

What to eat after a tooth extraction?

Opt for soft foods and drink plenty of water after tooth removal. The following foods need less chewing and biting that can help you feel pain when eating. 

Be careful about the temperature of the food you will consume. Extreme hot or cold foods can result in soreness in the extraction area. Avoid crunching and hard foods, which may cause your blood clot to dislodge.Listed below are some foods you may consider:

Cost of extraction 

According to the Australian Dental Association, the average cost of a simple extraction in Victoria, Australia, can range from $187.69 to $300. Surgical removal, such as removal of wisdom teeth, may vary from $284.67 to $2,300.

Separate charges may apply for the required anaesthesia before tooth extraction. In addition, affordable payment options are available in our dental clinic.

How to prevent alveolar osteitis after tooth extraction?

A blood clot is expected to form at the extraction site. It serves as a protection from infection or food debris and acts as a barrier, so nerves and bone are not exposed. However, the clot may become dislodged from time to time. If this occurs, you will endure a painful condition known as a dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis. A dry socket is painful and causes healing to be delayed. It’s critical to avoid it as much as possible.

Here are a few tips to avoid dry socket or alveolar osteitis:

  • Do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Avoid using a straw when drinking.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • Consume soft foods only.
  • Ask your doctor about medications.

How can you fill up the space after extraction?

A missing or extracted tooth will cause the adjacent teeth to move toward each other and attempt to fill in the space. It causes a partial gap and crooked teeth, both of which are difficult to clean and maintain. Once the extraction site (or hole) has healed, the dentist will re-evaluate your mouth and teeth. They will determine the suitable dental restoration for you. Some of these may include but are not limited to:

  • Dental implants
  • Dental bridges
  • Dentures