In 2020 you shouldn't be freaking out about tooth extractions.  Here's a comprehensive article covering everything you need to know about tooth removal from some of the UK's most talented and caring team of dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons.


Extractions are just as much science as art and everything from pain relief to minimising the trauma of the extraction is highly dependent on the skills and talents of your dentist.  So read on and we will discuss everything you need to know about this common dental procedure.


Most people will need a tooth taking out at some point in their lives.  This can happen for a variety of reasons.  One very common reason is when the wisdom teeth become impacted and need taking out.  If you think you need help with your wisdom teeth then we have a specific page dedicated to that here: wisdom teeth removal.


Good dentists will always do everything they can to keep your mouth healthy and all of your teeth in your head.  But sometimes this just isn't possible for a number of reasons and the teeth need to be removed.


This article has been independently reviewed by:

Dr Laurence Masters BSc BDS MSc Orth
Dr MJ Rowland-Warmann BSc BDS MSc PGDip MJDF
Dr Billal Arshad BDS MSc MFDS RCS (Eng)

Here are the reasons dentists perform tooth extractions

  • The tooth is broken due to trauma or an accident

  • Severe decay is causing the tooth to fall apart

  • Gum disease may make your tooth loose and need taking out

  • You may have too many teeth (overcrowding)

  • You may need a tooth taking out to make space for braces treatment

  • The tooth may be impacted (like in the case of a wisdom tooth)

A tooth can be acutely painful when it’s been broken, is decayed or loose. Getting patients out of pain is the main reason dentists take teeth out. Removal of the tooth often causes immediate relief because the nerve (what's causing the pain) will be removed along with it.

*If you're in pain right now then visit our emergency page*

or dial

0151 236 5166

Do I need an extraction?

There are many reasons that dentists might need to extract your teeth, below is a radiograph of more than one reason to extract.  There's an Abcess on a broken tooth and the tooth will likely need replacement with a dental implant.  For more info on dental implants visit our page by following the link.  Alternatives include dental bridges, crowns and just to leave the gap as is (although this brings with it specific problems such as the surrounding teeth tipping into the gap or bone loss.

Broken crown with abcess

Trauma and Accidents

Accidents happen and especially in children or young adults who are playing contact sports. To minimise the risk of a traumatic evulsion always wear a mouthguard and practice sports such as cricket, hockey and martial arts using safety equipment.


If a tooth has not been broken but has fully come out (a traumatic evulsion) then if you get to the dentist within an hour there is a good chance that the tooth can be saved. However, when it is cracked and the crack goes through the pulp or has severely damaged the tooth then an extraction will most likely be necessary.


Here's some useful advice on what to do if you've experienced dental trauma.


Decay is tiny cracks and fissures opening up in the enamel and tooth surfaces that let in bacteria. Once in the cracks, the bacteria multiplies and produces harmful chemicals that eat away at the tooth structure and literally rot your teeth from within.


The main causes of decay are sugar, plaque and not brushing your teeth twice a day. Sometimes decay is so profound that the tooth is what dentists would call ‘unrestorable’. This means it needs to be taken out to prevent the further spread of bacteria and stop any pain you may be feeling from the infection.


If the nerve of the tooth is infected (a hot tooth) then the pain can be severe and patients in this unfortunate situation often attend for emergency appointments patients and we can get them out of pain extremely quickly. For an emergency appointment follow the link.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another highly preventable dental disease. Over 90% of people will have some sort of gum disease at some point in their lives, the severity of which ranges from gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) to periodontal disease that can affect the ligaments and bone holding your teeth in place.


This is the reason teeth with gum disease become loose and eventually fall out. It is often better to extract them before this happens in order to treat the underlying disease and stop it spreading further throughout the mouth and body.


If you think you have gum disease and need treatment follow the link here to our gum disease page.

Too Many Teeth

Some people are very special and actually are born with extra teeth in their mouths! These 'supernumary' teeth can often be asymptomatic but sometimes these extra teeth can become impacted and will need to be extracted.


If you’re one of the lucky one in fifty people with an extra tooth then make sure your dentist is keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t need taking out if it causes problems.

Orthodontic extractions

In order to make space for the teeth to move into position during orthodontic treatment, sometimes it’s necessary to remove teeth to make the rest of the teeth fit together correctly. Orthodontic extractions depend on each individual case, how the teeth are to be moved and the degree of crowding.

Impacted Teeth & Wisdom Teeth

These are normally wisdom teeth and are the very back teeth which come through usually between age 18-25. In some people wisdom teeth never come through. They can come through at strange angles and because they are so far back, can be difficult to brush. This is why they often suffer decay and why the gums become inflamed and painful as they try to erupt through the gum.


Lower wisdom teeth that are painful, have pathology such as cysts, or are causing damage to adjacent teeth may require removal. There are guidelines as to when it is right to remove wisdom teeth as there are important structures such as vessels and nerves near wisdom teeth and we want to prevent these getting injured. Asymptomatic wisdom teeth will not simply be removed in the UK without reason.

Imaging for safe extractions

Here at Smileworks we have invested significantly in a state-of-the-art CBCT scanner that renders extremely accurate imaging of the impacted teeth lowering the risk of complications significantly and keeping all our patients safe.


We have an entire imaging suite which we use not only to evaluate the clinical implications of extractions (and many other procedures) but also to help patients better understand what we do and how they will look before and after their procedures.

Imaging technology at Smileworks
Imaging technology at Smileworks

Without a doubt we're #1

Smileworks have 36 extractions reviews with an average score of 4.9 out of 5.0.  To see what our customers think look for Dr Abd and mentions of extractions or wisdom teeth problems on GoogleTrustpilot and Facebook.  Here are some of our favourites.

So happy after my brace fitting today with Eduardo! He kept me informed the whole way through and checked throughout that I was comfortable with everything. He was very considerate of my reluctance to have my wisdom teeth out and didn't pressure me... at all.Also, thank you to Joanna and another young assistant (I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name!) who helped to make everything relaxing, letting me choose the music and giving advice for looking after my braces!read more
13:51 21 May 21
Absolutely perfect. I booked an emergency appointment yesterday due to an infected tooth and was seen today. Got to meet the lovely Tom and Lacy, both were extremely patient with me as I have a phobia of dentists and can be a bit of a baby. They... kept reassuring me and making sure I was ok every step of the way throughout the extraction. They really put me at ease (even if it didn’t seem like I was) The reception team were lovely also and the whole process was fabulous. Thank you more
Jenny Binns
Jenny Binns
16:55 27 Apr 21
Very welcoming and friendly communication - especially the receptionist Abi - a true angel. The procedure was done by the doctor Ahmed - in a very precise and professional manner. The nurse let me hold her hand during the tooth extraction ❤
Kotryna Unskinaitė
Kotryna Unskinaitė
16:03 01 Apr 21
Super pleased with Smileworks!!!I have had a couple of appointments with Smileworks for various treatments. Yesterday morning I had my brace fitted by Dr Eduardo and Nikola. They both did a fabulous job. I had a pain free experience throughout and... love the baby pink colour on my brace hehe! Dr Eduardo is amazing! He genuinely cares for his patients and you can see this through his work! Throughout fitting my brace, he was calm, collected and reassuring, thank you :)! I am super excited for the end result.One of my first treatments with Smileworks was having my wisdom teeth extracted by Dr Abd with the assistance of Abi and Joanna. I was anxious and I felt a mini panic attack bubbling away beneath the surface. They could sense this and all three were so attentive, chatty and fun, this helped calm my nerves. Having teeth extracted can be nerve-racking. I imagined I would feel a lot of pain and didn’t!!! Thank you!Salma xread more
Salma Mirza
Salma Mirza
09:58 04 Mar 21
I had an appointment with Eduardo and Nikola today and had a really positive experience. They both made me feel at ease and settled my nerves. I had braces fitted and extractions and at no point felt any pain or discomfort, I felt able to ask... questions or express concerns to the team at any more
Teja Lavin
Teja Lavin
14:41 06 Feb 21
I have to say this place is fab - I’ve been 3 times for a checkup (extremely thorough!) and filling with the lovely Tom then a wisdom tooth extraction with Abd and Joanna who were so so lovely and it was less than 20 seconds to remove the tooth! I... came here due to my usual dentist having ridiculously long waiting times. Well done Smileworks - first for customer service and everything else! I’ll be coming back 😀😀read more
Cara Tolson
Cara Tolson
07:52 14 Dec 20
I got three wisdom teeth removed at once, so prior my appointment I felt extremely nervous, however, as soon as I arrived, the team made me feel really comfortable and Dr Abd was excellent. My fears were all for nothing, as he was so gentle I didn't... feel a thing and the recovery is being amazing! I could not had imagined something that gave me so much anxiety was going to be done in such short amount of time and completely pain free. I couldn't recommend them enough. Thanks for everything!read more
Marta Garcia
Marta Garcia
13:40 02 Dec 20
Huge thanks to Ankush and Abi for the care and service they gave me during an emergency appointment and tooth extraction. I have always dreaded dentists and had not been for some time but they made the whole thing stress free. I can't recommend... Smileworks enough!read more
John Leonard
John Leonard
17:25 01 Nov 20
I was really nervous going to get my wisdomteeth taken out due to ongoing pain on and off for years. I can honestly say it was nowhere near as bad as I thought. The procedure was relatively quick and there was not a lot of pain I was really... impressed with the service and would recommend to who is scared to have this done to go to more
Shaunna Burns
Shaunna Burns
18:18 26 Oct 20
abdirahman Osman
abdirahman Osman
10:56 21 Oct 20
Went in for a deep clean with Zoe and Savannah, was made to feel very welcome as always. They also packed a dry socket from my wisdom tooth extraction for me- I was expecting Hell on Earth but they did everything with only minimum discomfort, can’t... recommend enough 🙂read more
Leon Farley
Leon Farley
07:35 07 Oct 20
I recently had my lower left wisdom tooth removed with Abd and Abi and it was absolutely fantastic.As someone that has a deep fear of the dentist I was not looking forward to having this procedure done and I had spent a great deal of time... panicking over it. This was completely unnecessary as I was in the best of care.Abd and Abi both gave me a warm welcome and assured me that there was no need to worry. The procedure was explained in good detail along with what to expect afterwards which settled my mind a great deal.The job was carried out without any kind of pain felt which was very surprising to me. Abd is truly an artist at removing impacted teeth and had it all out without me even realising. The swelling and pain was minimal afterwards allowing me to attend work that same day and I feel fully fit and healthy again only a week later.I am confident that Smileworks is the best place to get your teeth fixed if you have any kind of dental anxiety or fears. They have completely changed my mind on dentistry for the better to the point where I actually enjoy my visits.Thank you again and I look forward to getting the rest of my teeth sorted in the near more
Terence Callaghan
Terence Callaghan
20:02 21 Sep 20
I am writing this review now that it has been pretty long since my visit in winter last year but I have just found these guys' business card and I just must do it. I came in with a huge pain in my broken down wisdom teeth and as unlikely as it... sounds... had a wonderful experience. The staff was great, like most people I am not very pleased with needles, my anesthetics were injected very carefully and quickly, I could not feel a thing but a tiny pinch. The removal was done in no time and by that I mean I was literally back on with my day 5 minutes later. A special thank you to Abd and Emily, these guys will amake sure to teach you all you need to know about the aftercare more
Ugne Mal
Ugne Mal
18:13 20 Jul 20
I went to see Hannah for microblading treatment. Hannah made me feel very comfortable and at ease. She explained the procedure clearly and told me what she was doing throughout the treatment. Hannah clearky loves her work abd it shows.I love my... eyebrows. Thanks so much Hannah! Xxxread more
Sally Bentley
Sally Bentley
11:12 13 Mar 20
Working in dentistry Is amazing but we definitely don't get time to book our own appointments, so I decided to treat myself I booked in with Zoè for my hygiene last week! OMG she did not disappoint, so happy I took time to see her my teeth have... never felt cleaner. Also my wisdom tooth has been hurting me for a while now so I asked Abd and Jess to take it out today......It was super quick (8 seconds ) pain free, and now I'm home eating ice cream! Thank you all soooo much xread more
Kerry Hensley
Kerry Hensley
21:08 24 Feb 20
Can’t praise them enough. Had an amazing experience with Eduardo and Emily, they’re so professional and kind. I was so nervous but I’m not scared of the dentist anymore, thanks for them. They took my wisdom tooth out with absolute no pain.Highly... recommended, gonna stick with Smileworks for sure.20/5 starsread more
Lara Lukacs
Lara Lukacs
11:00 13 Feb 20
Well…this Christmas was the worst Christmas of my life. Waking up on December 20th with the most shocking tooth pain. I had wisdom tooth pain in the past at times, not very often, but this was on another level entirely. I went into my dentist and... they saw me but did not feel the tooth could come out yet. So I went back home took painkillers and dealt with it. I did not sleep more than two hours that night and the next day I December 21st I called around everywhere to see about a second opinion. I then contacted Smileworks and had an appointment booked that evening. Everyone was so nice, and I made an appointment to have it out in the new year and was given antibiotics and told which painkillers to get and this did help loads! But come Monday morning the pain was back and even worse. I went into the dentistry I was a part of at that time and demanded it to be taken out. The attraction took 2 hours and it was hell! Leaving the practice, I walked over to Smileworks to sort something out and I started feeling faint and not well at all. Everyone was so good to me and even contacted the other dental practice so that they could send someone over for me. I eventually made it home after some time and started my recovery. Sleep was still very bad for a week after. I missed Christmas and even to this day of writing this review I have had no turkey. Even one NYE I left early because of pain and walked in the door at midnight. I couldn’t eat another bowl of soup until I’m an old man cause I had soup every meal for almost two weeks. I ended up getting dry socket as well which was extremely painful. Going back to my original dentist who took the tooth out they put some things on it and it did not get better. They were unreachable over Christmas and new year and I was in unbelievable pain! I went back to Smileworks and they put some gauze into the gum and really packed it in. Since that day I was in comfort and the gum had started to heal and I have been almost pain free ever since. It was a wisdom tooth so it will take a long time to heal, but I can eat!! It was a horrible festive time for me and I would like to thank those at Smileworks specifically, Mini, Clare, Marnie and Nikola. Great team members who I came into contact with. Sorry if I spelt anyone name wrong.Ps. I am now a signed-on member of more
Shakir Amory
Shakir Amory
14:48 15 Jan 20
I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed today at Smilewroks by dr. Abd and Ewa.I was terrified of the procedure, I never had any teeth extracted before, plus they had to be surgically extracted as all were impacted and still in my gums.I can’t... complement dr. Abd and Ewa enough, as soon as the dr. took the first tooth out, (I took literally 1 minute) I relaxed and all stressed was gone. Overall all teeth were out super quick, without any complications or ANY pain. Dr. Abd is really competent in what he is doing, and he did a great job, thank you! Both dr. Abd and Ewa are super nice and professional. If you need any teeth extracted, you will be in very safe hands with those two!Thank you for my procedure today! XxxDaria OmarP.s. leaving the review form my husbands account as i forgot my own login details & I’m very grateful for my painless procedure today, was really keen to say thank you ☺️read more
mohamed omar
mohamed omar
20:28 09 Nov 19
Attended Smileworks today after a negative experiences with my NHS dentist. Clare and Lacy listened to my frustrations and helped me find solutions for my pain!I felt so happy that someone had listened after months of pain and were able to organise... my wisdom tooth extraction.Abs and Eva did a fantastic job on my wisdom tooth extraction - I can't believe how quick and easy it was. Still surprised. The whole Smileworks team are kind and supportive. So glad I made the decision to attend Smileworks. Thankyou xxread more
Rebekah Penrice-Randal
Rebekah Penrice-Randal
15:06 23 Sep 19
This is the best dental practice in Liverpool. I was in complete agony over wisdom toothache. I booked an emergency appointment on saturday morning and was seen same day. The tooth was taken out same day due to enormous pain. Pain didnt stop whole... night irrespective of taking pain killers. The staff at reception are very kind and friendly and made me feel comfortable when I was in clinic. The dentist was very good and efficient. The clinic itself is very modern and use state of the art technology. I am very happy with everything and would never ever go to any other dentist. Thanksread more
Ragini Carroll
Ragini Carroll
19:48 05 Aug 19
A month ago I had a hygiene consultation with Ewa and she did an amazing job, no rush at all, she took her time to check everything was good, if I needed any filling or there was any complication and she noticed my wisdom tooth was getting infected... and she recommended to get it assessed. So on Saturday I had my appointment with Abd and he got my wisdom tooth out. It was shocking how painless and quick it was! I was at ease in each step of the procedure: he explained which options I had, the percentage of success in each one, when I was gonna start feeling my mouth numb... everything. I bleed more that I should have because of the infection and he made sure I wasn't leaving the practice till it stopped bleeding and my mouth was fine. Thank you very much both of you! So happy to have been treated by such a professional and friendly more
Ainhoa Mendiburu
Ainhoa Mendiburu
10:18 04 Jul 19
Having been left with a 4/5 week wait to see an oral surgeon I was referred to by my own dentist for an emergency extraction, I had no option but to seek help elsewhere as I was coming to the end of a course amoxicillin antibiotic and had maxed out... on painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol). The pain was unabating.Smileworks was the first name I came to when I entered "emergency extraction" into my iPad. I phoned the number, was spoken to right away, paid a consultation fee and made an appointment within 36 hours.Patricia and Lavinia took me into a space-age surgery after I filled in a form and listened to my tale of woe with genuine interest and proceeded to pluck the infected rear right bottom molar out with utmost professionalism.The whole process was pain free. I was made to feel so important and boy, am I glad "Smileworks" was top of the list on the net. The service and care I received was top of the list as well. Can't thank all the girls enough. 10/10, 5 Star, *****.read more
Brian McHugh
Brian McHugh
12:03 01 Jun 19
Excellent professionalism, swiftness and care when performing 4 of my wisdom teeth extractions. Didn't feel a thing! Thanks to the amazing Abd & Eva. The whole team have been so helpful in identifying the right treatment course for me. Many thanks!
Arron Jackaman
Arron Jackaman
11:13 28 Apr 19
Had an appointment with Patri for a painful wisdom tooth. I was terrified of the extraction but she was absolutely amazing. Fantastic job! Also, if you think Smileworks might be a bit pricey, think again. I ended up paying considerably less than... what another dentist would have charged me. A super happy customer 🙂read more
Minodora Zidaru
Minodora Zidaru
22:05 22 Mar 19
Absolutely amazing care.I rang up after exhausting all NHS dentists, from the first call to see if an appointment was available on a Saturday to leaving, I cant praise this practice enough.When my partner rang up the lady on the phone was really... helpful and explained there procedures. We were given a 12.30 appointment and paid the £50 check up fee.On arrival I was in severe pain from a painful wisdom tooth, they were very sympathetic and helpful and so friendly, after a very short wait in there quirky airplane waiting room, I was seen promptly by the dentist and nurse. He diagnosed my problem straight away and was given an xray and then removed my tooth. I'm a very nervous patient and didn't even no my wisdom tooth had been removed . I was amazed when they said it was out.the dentist and nurse were so kind and caring and very professional in there work.After the extraction they let me rest in the chair for a while till the bleeding stopped and were so chatty and made me laugh as they explained what they had done.The dentist then took me to reception where we chatted to the lovely Australian girl on reception who again was amazing happy friendly The other lady who first saw me when I came in came up and asked me how I was aThe pair of them were amazing and both made us feel relaxed.I cant reccomend this practice enough and will now be going back to them for future check ups and any work more
Tracy Carrison
Tracy Carrison
22:29 02 Mar 19
Amazing customer care and advice and treatment for removal of a very painful wisdom tooth. NHS removal via my own dentist was going to be 6-8weeks waiting time. Smileworks were very understanding and arranged emergency appointment and then an... extraction within a few days. There were no complications and the whole experience was first class. Everything was explained and there were excellent follow up calls to check I was Ok and no issues. So glad not to be taking anymore pain relief. Am considering switching my dentist!read more
Mike Whiting
Mike Whiting
14:44 27 Jun 18
I started coming here because I lost confidence in my NHS dentist. The difference is remarkable. The place is beautiful and calming. Its the no.1 dentist in Liverpool for sure. I had some hygiene and gum treatments with Bambi their dental... hygiene therapist and then a surgical extraction with Dr Pinar and im havin implants maybe too. They do great whitening which is cheap and has really made me feel great. I cannot recommend this place enough. Wonderful customer service and aftercare from start to finish. My treatments have really increased my confidence. Thanks to the whole team! Xread more
Jill Jenette
Jill Jenette
13:02 08 Jun 18
I had booked for an emergency appointment due to having a minor infection in my wisdom tooth for 3 weeks. I had visited my usual dentist and nothing was specifically done for my wisdom tooth, leading to swelling and more pain.My appointment with... Smileworks went much better, after a quick clearing around my wisdom tooth, the problem was resolved and my pain went away by the next day.Great staff and, as this wasn't my usual dentist, easy to get an more
Piplington B
Piplington B
12:59 04 Jun 18
I needed an emergency appt & got one quickly. I needed a tooth extraction - I had an excellent (female) dentist who gave a really good local (enough & I could still feel my face!). The extraction was tough but I was well cared for. I've not had any... problems at all since and I had it taken out 4 days ago. Thank more
UCL Acute Medicine (JP)
UCL Acute Medicine (JP)
02:19 13 Feb 18
I've had two procedures done at Smileworks. The first one was an emergency sedated extraction of a very infected and abscessed tooth. For this procedure, My dentist was Krishan. Even though I am a very anxious person, Krishan was very kind and... patient and made me feel at ease. He played my favorite music for me and that's pretty much all I can remember! The procedure was successful and by the next morning I was surprisingly ok! The second procedure I had done was the removal of the root of a very infected tooth. My dentist for this procedure was MJ. MJ and her assistant were really great as well, keeping me calm throughout, playing music to ease my anxiety, and assuring me constantly that everything was going to be ok. When MJ gave me the injections to numb the area, I was initially worried that it would hurt as it always does, but to my surprise, I didn't feel a thing! This really came as a shock to me, as usually, this is something that worries me and sends me into panic mode as the injections are usually quite painful. As soon as the numbness wore off, I felt perfectly fine; very very little soreness. Afterwards, the lovely receptionist Mimi called me the next day to see how I was doing. All in all, I highly recommend Smileworks, they really take great care of their patients, before, during, and after any procedure. Thank you!! 🙂read more
Zaina Shihabi
Zaina Shihabi
11:32 12 Dec 17
Wow what an absolute amazing experience said no person ever going to the dentist. Well until now...Had severe pain due to a Wisdom tooth and couldn't sleep the night before and knew I had to finally face my fear and go to the dentist and get this... sorted. Sat up all night due to lack of sleep watching and reading horror stories on having a Wisdom tooth removed and was dreading it more and more as time went on.Called Smileworks at 9am Saturday morning to get an emergency appointment and was given one within 3 hours. When i arrived I was greeted with cheer into what could only be described as the coolest dental reception area of all time. The receptionist (forget her name) automatically put my mind at ease.Normally my experience at dentists was sit and wait for an absolute age to be called. Not at Smileworks. MJ came into the reception area so cheery and got me and brought me to the room which was something out of a futuristic movie it was absolutely amazing.From start to finish MJ kept my mind at ease telling me every step of the way on what was happening and what the plan of action was. We even meditated over the removal of my wisdom tooth which really calmed me down. MJ was absolutely amazing in the removal and I had built up such a hype and horror pictures of what was going to happen. The exact opposite happened.This had made me build up my confidence in a dentist again and I would highly highly highly recommend Smileworks to more
Kyle Boyd
Kyle Boyd
14:03 27 Nov 17

Types of Tooth Removal

Simple Extraction (video)

A simple extraction is the taking out of any tooth for any of the reasons outlined above.  The reason it is referred to as simple is that it will usually not involve any nerves, blood vessels or difficult root positions.


A simple extraction can be carried out by a general dentist and there is no requirement for an Oral Surgeon.  To determine whether your extraction is in fact simple you must make sure that your dentist takes the appropriate radiographs and images to discover their positions of important nerves, vessels and your bone levels.

Surgical Extraction (video)

A surgical extraction is carried out by a qualified oral surgeon [link to one] and may mean cutting the gum to get to the tooth. This is also for more complex root structures which may be curved, or teeth which are impacted (on their side) or fused into in the bone

Emergency Extraction

This is simply where a patient is in urgent need of an extraction because they might be in pain or they have suffered an injury. These tooth removals can be quite straight forward and booking an emergency appointment at Smileworks is simple.

Just follow the link here to our emergency dentist page or call 0151 236 5166

Tooth Extraction Pain

Do extractions hurt?

This is the most common question we get asked about taking teeth out; do extractions hurt?

The answer is no.


Before treatment your dentist will administer local anaesthetic that will numb the entire area so you will not feel a thing during the extraction.


For some nervous patients or more difficult cases (such as surgical extractions) you may elect to be sedated with pills for your procedure and will be unlikely to remember anything about it.  Speak to your dentist in advance about this option.


Although you won’t feel pain there will be pressure applied to your mouth and you will feel the sensation of something being pulled or jiggled out of your mouth.  This is not unpleasant though and 99% of patients tolerate it just fine.

Pain levels for dental extractions

Here's the pain scale that most medical people use to determine pain levels in patients.  Following your extraction when you return home the pain levels should be no more than about three.


If they are around 4/5 then it might be a good idea to call for reassurance or visit the pharmacist for some pain relief.  Anything higher and you'll need to keep in touch so that your dentist can keep an eye on the situation.


The importance of communication

It’s very important you communicate with your dentist.  Sometimes the local anaesthetic can take some time to start working.  If your dentist is in a rush they may not checked the entire area is fully numb.  This is what leads to the horror stories you sometimes hear about extractions.  Once again, the skills and how much time you get with your dentist are key to any happy dental procedure.

Pro Tip

Dr MJ Rowland-Warmann

Once the local anaesthetic has been administered the correct areas need to be adequately numb.  It is essential that you test the area by poking it with an instrument to see whether the patient can feel any sensation.  Sometimes it will take some time to get a patient numb and I will need to try a few different areas and wait varying lengths of time.

Depending on which block I use, it should take between five and ten minutes to get someone really numb but it can take longer – so be patient.  Also some patients – when they are a bit nervous – confuse pressure with pain and this is quite common.  So you must speak to your patient and make sure that they are absolutely comfortable before you proceed to the extraction.

Here at Smileworks we give the anaesthetic an appropriate amount of time to work and test that the area is numb before proceeding.  This is extremely important.

When you are out of the dental chair you may feel a little bruised and sometimes the socket (where the tooth used to be) can bleed.  You will be given full post-operative instructions and we will talk about aftercare below. So read on.

Minodora Z.
Minodora Z.
22:05 22 Mar 19
Had an appointment with Patri for a painful wisdom tooth. I was terrified of the extraction but she was absolutely amazing. Fantastic job! Also, if you think Smileworks might be a bit pricey, think again. I ended up paying considerably less than what another dentist would have charged me. A super happy customer 🙂

Minodora Z - 22 March 2019 - 5/5 Stars  ∗∗∗∗∗

How long should the pain last?

Another popular questions is how long should it hurt following your treatment and what type of pain is ‘normal pain’.


Following your procedure, the area is numb for around 2 hours. Once the Lignocaine® (or whichever local anaesthetic your dentist deems appropriate) has worn off, there may be some discomfort but it shouldn’t be painful.


How long the pain lasts and what pain is ‘normal’ are very difficult questions to answer and very from person to person.  Think of an extraction like a bruise.  It needs time to heal and non-surgical extractions heal on a similar timescale to other soft tissue traumas like bruises.


After 2-3 days the area should be quite comfortable and then from 3-7 days any pain should be gone.

If the pain has not resolved after a week then you may have a dry socket.  We will talk more about this in the ‘complications’ section below.

WARNING! Increasing pain after 5 days is something you need to speak to your dentist about

Is jaw pain normal?

Bruising, swelling and bleeding can all be normal in small amounts but if they are bothering you then you might need to speak to your dentist. These are also covered in the Complications section below and could be from other unerupted teeth, wisdom teeth, trauma or infection.  Also any gum pain should be checked out by your dentist.  Any pain radiating to your ear is a sign of a possible dry socket and you must get in touch with your dentist about this type of pain.

Is throbbing pain normal?

Before your treatment the tooth might well have been throbbing or really painful at times.  This usually means the nerve of the tooth is involved or is damaged.


The extraction should remove the entirety of the nerve from the socket and the throbbing should stop.  If there is still throbbing after the extraction this could be the normal effects of the trauma of having the tooth taken out on your surrounding tissues.


However, throbbing after the extraction or any increasing pain after about 5 days is a bad sign and if the pain radiates to the ear then this could be a sign you have a dry socket which is a complication of an extraction procedure and will require you to return to the dentist.  More on dry sockets in the complications section below.

Does the type of tooth make a difference?

Different people experience pain in different ways and sometimes the type of tooth extracted can have an effect on how much pain might be associated with the procedure.


For example, if you come in with an infected tooth or big abscess then you may already be in terrible pain and the result will be a blissful absence of pain so you will likely report a painless procedure.


However, it you weren’t in any pain to begin with and feel pressure and slight pain than you may report feeling some pain.  Although the two procedures could have been done precisely the same.  So things are all relative and pain – especially – is relative and different for all people.


That’s not to say if you have a low pain threshold it’s going to hurt because it’s not.  Your dentist will make sure of that.  And if they do not.  Find another one.

Recovery and aftercare

You will receive aftercare instructions tailored to the type of extraction that you've had.  We've put together a helpful table to give you some advice on pain, swelling, what you can eat, what to avoid and when to call us below.


Once the procedure is over you might be feeling a little woozy from the local anaesthetic that can make some people feel drowsy and others feel on edge or worried. This is because sometimes the local anaesthetic dentists use contains a chemical similar to adrenaline that makes you feel edgy.


You may also have not eaten or not feel like eating so be aware of potential problems with low blood sugar. Try to drink something sweet with no caffeine in it like orange juice or your favourite squash.


You can combat anxious feelings by breathing deeply and sitting still for a while. You will have received comprehensive aftercare instructions from the team at Smileworks and will know precisely what to do depending on the extent of the treatment you’ve had.

Tooth Extraction Recovery Timetable

 Day of Extraction24-48hrs +2-5 Days 5 Days +
PainAnaesthetic wears off after 2 hoursPainkillers from pharmacyIf pain increasing call dentistIf pain increasing call dentist
BleedingBlood in saliva. Slight bleeding. Bite down on gauze for 15 mins if bleeding persistsNo bleedingif bleeding increases call dentistif bleeding increases call dentist
SwellingSlight swelling possibleMay increase 24-48 hrs. Max at around 48-72 hrsSwelling will begin to decreaseSwelling should be mostly gone
FoodsLiquid foodSoft foods & liquids
Soft foodsEat as you feel able
Oral HygieneAvoid treated area with brush. Rinse with salt waterAvoid treated area with brush. Rinse with salt waterBrush normally avoiding extraction siteBrush around extraction site as you feel able. Best to still avoid.
ExerciseRest. No gym or strenuous exerciseRest. No gym or strenuous exerciseHard exercise may dislodge clotExercise as you feel able
AlcoholNoneNoneDrink in moderation drink in moderation
Please don't smoke after an extraction, you just increase the chances of a complication called a dry socket. Which hurts. Not as much as lung cancer. But it still really hurts.

Tooth Extraction Options

Simple Extraction

From £120 per tooth

Moderate Extraction

From £180 per tooth

Minor Oral Surgery

From £220 per tooth

Complex Extraction

From £280 per tooth

Complex Oral Surgery

From £370 per tooth

Itemised Tooth Extraction Prices | 2020

The Procedure

Preparing for a tooth extraction

Many patients ask us if there is any way they can prepare for a tooth extraction. The best way is to make sure you are under the care of a skilled and talented oral surgeon or general dentist who you trust and who explains the process to you in as much detail as you want.


Even for damaged and painful teeth it is still your choice whether to have an extraction and you must weigh the risks and benefits – more on this below.


The best advice we can give is to be calm and ask lots of questions. Sometimes this can be difficult when you are in pain which is all the more reason to make sure you are under the care of a dentist you trust.

Tooth Extraction surgery setup

Tips to prepare for a tooth extraction

  • Make sure you're at a dental practice you feel comfortable in and in the care of a dentist you trust

  • Try to keep calm and ask lots of questions

  • Remember it's your decision whether to have a tooth extracted

  • Always make sure you are properly consented and understand what consent means

  • Try to eat something before the procedure to reduce the chances you might feel ill or faint

  • Relax and let the experts do their work

  • If something doesn't feel right then you have the right to say no or to wait and possibly make another appointment at a later date.
    A good dentist will not mind this at all.

Wisdom tooth extraction by Dr Rowland-Warmann at Smileworks

Here's how your dentist might prepare for your extraction

Patient Testimonial

Tracy Carrison - Local Guide 12 March, 2019

Absolutely amazing care!

I rang up after exhausting all NHS dentists, from the first call to see if an appointment was available on a Saturday to leaving, I cant praise this practice enough. When my partner rang up the lady on the phone was really helpful and explained there procedures. We were given a 12.30 appointment and paid the £50 check up fee.

On arrival I was in severe pain from a painful wisdom tooth, they were very sympathetic and helpful and so friendly, after a very short wait in there quirky airplane waiting room, I was seen promptly by the dentist and nurse. He diagnosed my problem straight away and was given an xray and then removed my tooth. I'm a very nervous patient and didn't even no my wisdom tooth had been removed.

I was amazed when they said it was out.the dentist and nurse were so kind and caring and very professional in there work. After the extraction they let me rest in the chair for a while till the bleeding stopped and were so chatty and made me laugh as they explained what they had done. The dentist then took me to reception where we chatted to the lovely Australian girl on reception who again was amazing happy friendly.

The other lady who first saw me when I came in came up and asked me how I was and the pair of them were amazing and both made us feel relaxed. I cant recommend this practice enough and will now be going back to them for future check ups and any work needed.

Home remedies and natural pain relief

The best natural remedy following an extraction is salt water.  Stir a teaspoon of normal table salt into a large glass of hot water until all the salt has dissolved away.

Leave the mixture to cool until it is just hot enough to drink and then rinse gently for around 30 seconds.


!*Do not drink the salt water*!


Spit it out and repeat if necessary. There’s nothing to worry about if there’s some blood in the spit. This is normal. Salt water helps fight infection and soothes the area. Some people also get pain relief from hot or cold compress to the face.

Home remedies to avoid

Unfortunately honey, black tea, aloe vera, vinegar, clove oil, garlic and turmeric are commonly suggested, they are more likely to give you an infection than stop one so take your advice from dentists and not quacks when deciding what you should do flowing your procedure.


Sometimes just a nice relaxing hot bath can soothe a multitude of aches and pains or some people swear by getting fresh air and going for a gentle stroll outside to calm themselves. All of these are fine. Including meditation and whatever makes you feel happy.


If you have tried a random home remedy and the pain has worsened then call your dentist immediately.


Also avoid eating sweets, hard or crispy foods or chewing on the affected side of your mouth if you are eating anything chewy.

Tooth Extraction Complications and Risks

Minimising Complications

A safe and well stocked surgery and a talented and highly experienced dental surgeon will be able to keep the risks and complications of an extraction to an absolute minimum.  Make sure you choose the right surgery, the right dentist and that you trust them implicitly.

Surgical extraction setup

Dry Socket

Alveolar Osteitis (Dry Socket) is a rare complication occurring in 2-5% of individuals following an extraction of an adult tooth. It most commonly happens following disintegration or loss of the blood clot that helps the wound heal.


When the bone is exposed it becomes infected causing severe pain and a foul smell from the infection. Dry socket is statistically more likely to occur following wisdom tooth extractions or a traumatic extraction (evulsion) as the hole is larger or there is more damage to the bone.


Smoking, spitting out the clot or sticking your tongue in the gap is likely to dislodge the clot in the same way as aggravating it with your toothbrush, Tepe brushes or your fingers.  So avoid doing these things following your extraction.  If you have a dry socket you'll certainly know about it and should call your dentist immediately as it is an easily treatable condition.

How do I know if I have a dry socket?

Symptoms of dry socket are:

  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Pain increasing after 3-5 days of your procedure
  • Soreness, redness or swelling,
  • Pus, discharge and a foul smell
  • You may have noticed the clot coming out and felt yourself swallowing it or seen that you've accidentally spat it out
  • You may be able to see the hole or exposed bone (it won't always appear white but pink, red or black)


General infection at extraction site

Infections are a potential risk of any surgical procedure and you will be properly consented and a medical history taken to minimise the chances of an infection occurring.  Following your aftercare instructions will also minimise the risk.

If you do get an infection at the site then you may feel pain increasing and swelling / hotness increasing after the normal reduction period of 24-72 hours.  Also pus, swelling and redness and a foul smell from your mouth are all signs of infection.

Call the dentist and they will be able to diagnose the problem.  Potential treatments involve salt water rinses, application of gauze  and antibiotics in severe cases.

Tooth or root fracture

Sometimes during an extraction the tooth may fracture or the root may fracture and small parts of each may be left in your jaw.  They may need further surgical extraction or may be stable and able to remain in place.

Your dentist will know if this complication has occurred and will be able to council you on the possible options available to you.

Damage to nerves and blood vessles

There is a very small change that impacted teeth may be lying on nerves or blood vessels in the jaw.  Having proper imaging and diagnostics should alert your dentist to these risks so that they can work appropriately and allow you to decide how you would like to proceed in the knowledge that there is an increased risk of damage to nerves or vessels.


Here's a radiograph of a nerve extremely close to an impacted wisdom tooth.  A surgeon should be extremely careful considering this radiograph, interpreting it correctly and informing the patient of the risks before proceeding with the extraction.

Impacted Tooth In Clost Proximity to Inferior dental nerve