No one wants a tooth extraction. In some cases, however, it’s necessary and may even be inevitable. Most of the time, people would need such a procedure after a serious injury causing the inability to chew well, or severe decay or inflammation that may not respond to treatments. While no one wants a tooth extraction, getting the right information before going to the dentist is crucial for anyone who might undergo the procedure. We wrote this article so you can have all the important information about tooth extraction in Singapore. You will read everything you might expect during the procedure1, why it’s needed in some cases, and the costs you might see in Singapore.
Why would I need a tooth extraction?
Here’s more detailed information about why in some cases2 the procedure is necessary.
Severe tooth decay - when the damage to the tooth is so severe that it cannot perform its daily functions like chewing food, for example. Such damage can occur with severe injuries or severe tooth decay. In any case, before deciding to remove a tooth, you should visit a dentist to check if there is a chance that the tooth can be restored in any way.
Infection and inflammation - If a tooth is affected by an infection or inflammation, then sometimes the inflammatory processes in question can spread throughout the oral cavity, becoming a threat to your oral health. In general, such infections are treated with medication, but in some cases, even the most serious antibiotics are not able to control them, measures such as extracting the tooth need to be taken.
Lack of space - yes, this can also be a reason. In most cases, in the presence of crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment is applied to align them. However, in case the teeth are too big and there is simply no space for them in the oral cavity, you will probably be advised by your dentist to undergo a tooth removal procedure. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, that may also result in teeth extraction. Wisdom teeth often cause such problems, which is why they need to be monitored during your yearly check-ups.
What happens during a tooth extraction procedure?
A lot of people and children experience anxiety about going to the dentist (even if it is a pediatric dentist), let alone lose a tooth. It’s only natural to feel that way as most people imagine a lot of pain during the procedure. However, the tooth extraction procedure is not as scary as many people think. A thing you have to know as a patient is that you’ll experience no pain during the whole process. That’s because every dentist works with a local anaesthetic, injected into the treatment area. Read ahead for more information about the extraction process.
First Step: Anaesthesia - Anaesthesia is necessary so that the patient does not feel any pain during the procedure. More often dentists use local anaesthesia which takes effect only in the area around the tooth. General anaesthesia can only be given when several teeth are to be extracted at once.
Preparation - before proceeding to the tooth removal itself, the dentist will perform preliminary preparation of the oral cavity. The preliminary preparation consists of detaching the gum from the tooth with the help of a special straight lever, which the dentist uses. Subsequently, the tooth is gripped with pliers.
Shaking the tooth back and forth - the actual procedure begins with its shaking. For this purpose, successive movements of the tooth in both directions are performed. The dentist decides when shaking is enough to allow tooth removal.
The specific action of removing the tooth from the bone alveolus is performed with smooth movements and slight twisting of the tooth in question. After the tooth is extracted, the dentist checks the area of the oral cavity for other parts of the tooth and its roots one more time.
Follow-up - When the procedure is complete, the dentist takes some follow-up to ensure that the area heals as quickly as possible and there is no risk of contamination or infection. These actions are mainly related to cleaning the wound and lightly pressing until it closes.
Types of Tooth Extraction
You might not have thought about it but there are two basic types of tooth extraction: a simple and a surgical one. The simple tooth extraction, as you can guess by the name, is a less complex type of removal used when the teeth are visible are easier to access. The surgical one involves making an incision so that the dentist can reach the tooth. Both versions are commonly used when getting wisdom tooth extraction, for example.
Here is more detailed information on both types of procedure:
Simple Tooth Extraction
As mentioned previously, the simple procedure involves extracting a tooth that has already erupted. The dentist will put a local anaesthetic so you’re comfortable during the whole process. They will pull the tooth back and forth to loosen it. After that, they will remove the tooth. This is also a procedure often used in wisdom tooth removal.
Tooth Extraction Surgery
As you can probably tell, a surgical method is a more complex procedure. This method is often referred to as wisdom tooth surgery, although it can be applied to all teeth. During a tooth extraction surgery, the dentist removes teeth that have not yet erupted. They will make an incision into the tissue around the tooth. In some cases, they will have to fragment the tooth into several pieces before removing it. Surgical removal is often used to impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are notoriously famous for being difficult to remove but surgery can make that a bit easier.
Risks and Side Effects after a Teeth Extraction
Although it’s a very safe procedure, patients can often experience unpleasant side effects following tooth removal. Those side effects include pain, swelling, inflammation, and bleeding. In some cases, patients can even notice bruising. Pain and mild swelling can be expected in most patients but medication will keep them comfortable. If you continue to bleed or experience unusual pain, contact your dental clinic for a consultation. If you notice your gum turning white after tooth extraction, don’t worry too much. It’s normal. If you do experience pain or swelling alongside, however, it may be a sign of infection after tooth extraction. Another common side effect people might notice is the tooth extraction dry socket. It can appear after a removal procedure if the body doesn't produce a blood cloth to cover the bone. In this case, you might experience a painful dry socket following the removal of a wisdom tooth.
There are some less common side effects patients may experience following a tooth extraction. Those include improper teeth alignment and bite collapse. In some cases, the teeth might move which leads to misalignment. The collapse of the bite might also occur is several teeth are removed.
Tooth Extraction Cost in Singapore
Overall, the average cost of tooth extraction in Singapore may vary depending on several factors. Those factors include the consultation fee, additional X-ray you might need for diagnosis, the extraction itself, and whether you’d need a surgical procedure or a simple extraction. The tooth extraction price in Singapore will also depend on the number of teeth you're getting extracted. In general, the procedure may cost around $100-$800 per tooth in Singapore. Wisdom teeth would also cost more compared to other teeth if the procedure is more complex. The wisdom tooth removal price may go up to $2000 per tooth for a surgical extraction in Singapore.
The cost for wisdom teeth removal also depends on the age of the patient, whether the patient will need surgery or not if the wisdom tooth is closer to the nerves or irregular root shape. Impacted wisdom teeth are also likely to cost more.
Is wisdom tooth extraction covered by insurance or Medisave in Singapore?
The good news is that you can save some money from insurance in Singapore for your wisdom tooth extraction. You can claim up to $2700 for a surgical procedure. The amount you can claim also depends on the complexity of the case and whether you removed more than one wisdom teeth.
How long does wisdom tooth removal surgery take?
Wisdom tooth surgery should take around 45 minutes or even less than that. You won’t feel anything during the wisdom tooth surgery because of the anaesthetic. In some cases, you might even get more than one wisdom teeth removed during one surgery. Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most popular dental surgeries.
What does it mean if I can see my jawbone after tooth removal?
Seeing an empty socket or bone is a possible side effect following a tooth extraction. This is called a ‘dry socket’. It can take a while for the gum to heal. It usually takes around one to several weeks for the area to completely heal. If you do notice a dry socket following your procedure, call your dental clinic for a consultation.
Can I eat spicy food after tooth extraction?
It’s a good idea to avoid eating spicy food following the procedure. Spicy food can irritate the tooth extraction area and may cause inflammation. Spicy food in general can slow down the healing process. Stick to plain foods. We advise to eat soft foods for 24 hours after the procedure and then eat easy to chew foods in the following days. You can go back to your normal diet when feeling comfortable enough. As for the spicy food, wait a couple of days.
How to take care of the area following the procedure?
There are a few important steps you need to take, to make sure your gums heal properly3. The same rules apply for child tooth extraction recovery. Here are some of them:
- Don’t brush your teeth aggressively
- Don't use a hard toothbrush
- Don’t have hot drinks or spicy foot
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Eat soft foods and clean the area with water
When do you have to get molars removed?
Much like with wisdom teeth extractions, or any other tooth extractions, if it' painful or you have swelling around your molars, it may be a sign for the procedure. In some cases, when you have impacted wisdom teeth, you may also need a wisdom tooth removal because it can damage the surrounding teeth.
What is the wisdom tooth removal recovery process like?
It can take up to 2 weeks for a full recovery following a wisdom tooth removal. You might experience some swelling for the first couple of days following a wisdom tooth extraction but it should get back to normal on its own. If it doesn’t, contact your dental clinic for a consultation and a follow-up. You might need additional X-ray or testing to make sure everything is normal.
How long should pain last after wisdom tooth extraction?
The wisdom tooth extraction pain should resolve on its own in a couple of days. If you continue to feel it after a week4 following your wisdom tooth extraction, contact your dental clinic.