An extraction simply means taking out a tooth.

Most modern dentists will try to avoid performing an extraction wherever possible, as once you remove a tooth it impacts the stability of the surrounding teeth, which have nothing to ‘lean’ on, and the gum and jaw under the spot where the tooth is missing start to recede.

However, sometimes there’s no choice but to remove a tooth, due to severe decay, advanced gum disease or a really bad break to a tooth mean there’s nothing else that can be done to save to save the tooth.

At Fingal Dental Surgery, Dr. Pavlina Fagan performs extractions in the most painless way possible – there is no pain in modern dentistry, and the patient will be given a local anaesthetic to ensure they feel nothing other than a slight pressure.

The Extraction Process

We will ensure your tooth, jawbone and gums are all thoroughly numbed with a local anaesthetic.

You won’t feel pain during an extraction, but you will feel a bit of pressure, as the tooth has to be rocked fairly firmly to widen the socket for removal.

Your nerves are unable to feel pain because of the anaesthesia but they will feel the pressure; an odd sensation. If at any point you need a break or are unhappy of course we’ll stop!

Sectioning a Tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it.

It just means that the doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Care Post-Extraction

Blood clots form in the empty socket and this is actually an important part of the healing process so be careful not to dislodge the clot. Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after the extraction and avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquid.


Some bleeding may occur. Place a piece of gauze (not cotton!) over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly for 40 minutes to an hour to control the bleed.


If swelling occurs you can reduce it by placing ice on your face for 15 minutes in repeated cycles over the first 24 hours.

Pain and Medications

If you experience pain you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as Ibuprofen. Dr. Fagan will discuss pain relief with you and can prescribe any medication, including anti-inflammatories, antibiotics or painkillers you may need.


For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.  Soft foods are best initially.

Brushing and Cleaning

After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site.

Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket

Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.

Following the extraction, instructions will be provided to help reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three to four days after the extraction.  The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.

If you develop a dry socket, we can apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth the pain.


After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was.  In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.

For more information, or if you are in pain and need to see Dr. Fagan as an emergency case, please call Fingal Dental Surgery on 01 843 0740 or see www.fingaldentalsurgery.com