Surgical removal of teeth

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Removal of a tooth may be both necessary and complex

These days everything is done to avoid extracting a tooth, but there are times when extraction is the best option. In certain situations, a tooth cannot be removed via the normal dental extraction process and a surgical extraction is required. Surgical extractions are much more complex procedures with higher risk and require the help of a specialist surgeon.

Every time your airway is blocked, your brain becomes starved of oxygen. This forces you to wake up and take a breath, this may be happening several times a night without knowing it.  Every time your brain wakes you up, it causes your blood pressure to spike. As well has high blood pressure sleep apnoea can also increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and depression.

Situations where a tooth or tooth root needs extraction:

  • A badly decayed tooth which is beyond repair and could cause an infection.
  • A dead tooth with an infected nerve or failed root filling.
  • An impacted tooth which can interfere with other teeth. This often happens with wisdom teeth.
  • An extra (supernumerary) tooth that could become stuck (impacted) or interfere with other teeth.
  • A cracked tooth that cannot be repaired.
  • A retained tooth root which is left after a tooth broke.
  • To create space for other teeth to be moved orthodontically

Some teeth and tooth roots require specialist skills to be removed safely

In certain situations, you need an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to remove your tooth or tooth root. Examples of difficult extractions which may require removal by a surgical specialist:

  • If your tooth is in an abnormal position.
  • If the tooth is submerged under the gum and bone.
  • If there is a nerve near the tooth.
  • If the tooth roots are large and curved.
  • If the tooth is fused to the jawbone.
  • If the tooth is severely broken down.
  • If you have crowns or large fillings in adjacent teeth.

Where the surgery is performed

Dr van Mourik performs surgical tooth extraction at private hospital under general anaesthetic or in his private rooms under intravenous (IV) sedation and/or local anaesthetic.

Dr van Mourik will discuss the options with you and the choice of venue will depend on the number of teeth to be removed, the difficulty of the surgery, your general health and your personal preference.

How is a surgical tooth extraction performed?

The procedure to surgically remove a tooth can take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the complexity of the surgery. Dr van Mourik will most likely need to make an incision in your gum to access the tooth. Sometimes a piece of bone is also removed and the tooth may be divided into segments to make it easier to remove safely. Dissolvable stitches are used to close the incision.

Possible complications of a surgical tooth extraction

It’s unusual to have complications if you get a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon to surgically remove your tooth.

Tooth extraction, like all surgeries does have some potential risks and complications including:

  • Infection
  • Facial and oral numbness caused by nerve injury
  • Dry socket

Recovery and care after tooth removal surgery

Day surgery: If you’ve had general anaesthetic or intravenous sedation you will require someone to assist you get home. If done under local anaesthetic you can drive home yourself.

Pain management:  Normal painkillers such as Nurofen® and Panadol® are usually all you’ll need. An icepack can help reduce any swelling or pain.

Work/School: Most people return to work 1 day after surgery, while a few have to take a couple of days off. This will depend on the number of teeth being extracted, the extent of the surgery and your general health.

Stitches: Disolving stitches are used in most cases. They gradually dissolve over 1 to 2 weeks.

Diet: Soft food diet for 2 to 4 days after surgery. By 1 to 2 weeks after surgery you’ll most likely be eating and drinking normally.

Follow up:  Dr van Mourik will want to see you after your surgery to monitor your healing.

Dr Van Mourik will give you detailed post-operative instructions during your initial consultation. To maximise your chance of making a quick recovery without complications, please pay careful attention to these instructions. General information can be found on the Post-op and Patient Care page.

Surgical tooth removal cost

Medicare will reimburse you for part of your initial consultation.

Dr van Mourik will give you a written quote for the cost of your tooth removal surgery at the initial consultation. We’ll help you make applicable Medicare and private health insurance claims so that you’ll know how much of the cost will be covered.

If an anaesthetist is involved, we’ll give you contact details for the anaesthetist so you can obtain their fee schedule. Medicare and private health insurance will cover part of the anaesthetist’s costs.

Why choose an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?

Widest scope of treatment options

Only specialist oral and maxillofacial surgeons can provide the full scope and widest options of both in-rooms and hospital-based tooth removal procedures.

Surgery is performed to highest technical standard

They have the highest level of training and skills for oral surgery, this leads to better quality surgery. They can confidently perform more complicated surgeries such a difficult tooth removal.

Decreased chance of complications and appropriately manage your medical conditions

Because oral and maxillofacial surgeons have medical training, they can manage your other medical conditions and medications to decrease surgery risks. If a complication does occur, they have the skills to manage it.


Because oral and maxillofacial surgeons are medically trained, they operate under hospital grade sterilisation protocol (carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 4815:2006 standard).

Only use specialist anaesthetists

When intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia is required, they use specialist anaesthetists.

Dr van Mourik is a highly experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He explains things clearly and he’s a good listener, so do ask him questions about your tooth removal surgery and tell him your concerns — he’ll take the time to answer you and manage your concerns sensitively.

Learn more about surgical removal of teeth in our comprehensive guide booklets.

(02) 9416 4809

Suite 5, 12 Tryon Rd, Lindfield 2070, NSW

Suite 104, 568 Oxford St, Bondi Junction 2022, NSW

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