Sometimes teeth become too badly decayed or damaged to be repaired, and need to be extracted. Gum disease can, in its later stages, cause teeth to become so loose that they have to be taken out. Some people have to have their wisdom teeth removed, usually because they are growing in the wrong direction and are causing problems. And some people have over-crowded mouths, and have some teeth removed as part of their orthodontic (teeth straightening) treatment.
The procedure for removing a tooth is relatively simple from a patient's perspective. We will numb your tooth and the surrounding area with local anaesthetic, so you won't feel any pain. We will then hold the tooth firmly, and will ease it out. There will be some bleeding, but we will place a gauze pad in the tooth socket to help stop the bleeding. We will generally ask you to bite gently on this padding for about half an hour, after which you can take it out and throw it away.
In most circumstances, extractions are available on the NHS.
Advice on what to do following a tooth extraction can be found on the British Dental Health Foundation's website.