What are the risks involved in tooth extractions? | Dental Treatment Guide

There is a risk of developing an infection after a tooth extraction. The most common problem that can be caused by tooth extraction is dry socket. This is caused when the blood fails to clot and therefore the bone is exposed. If this does occur then it will need to be treated with medicine in order to reduce the pain and encourage the wound to heal.

It is possible that during the surgery other parts of the mouth might be damaged such as filings. In some cases the tooth will remain in the jaw, thereby making a complete extraction impossible. If this happens then the dentist will endeavour to remove the root to avoid infection but this may not always be possible. Occasionally the pressure that is placed on the jaw during the surgery may cause a fracture in the jaw but this is only usually a risk in older people who have weaker bones and may have osteoporosis of the jaw. It is to be expected that your jaw and the muscles surrounding it will feel sore in the aftermath of the surgery. You may experience some difficulty in opening your mouth wide. A lack of sensation in the lower lip and chin may also be a side effect of the surgery. This is most common where the wisdom teeth have been removed as it is more likely to have damaged the inferior alveolar nerve. Often this will heal over a few months and it unlikely to leave any permanent damage. It is possible that when removing the upper back teeth this could cause a hole in the sinus but if this does happen then it will most probably close up within a few weeks.

What I should I do if I experience these problems?

If the post surgery swelling and other potential side effects continue over a prolonged period of time and do not appear to improve then it is recommended that you contact your dentist. If you develop an infection in the area of the mouth where the tooth was extracted then you will be prescribed a course of antibiotics. If you experience high levels of pain in the area of extraction then it is important to contact your dentist as this could be an indication that you have dry socket.

Further Information about Teeth Extraction