Should you get that tooth removed?

The world’s shortest horror story: “You’ll need that tooth removed.” 


In reality, extractions (or “removals”) really aren’t that bad and with the right dentist, is more comfortable than you think.  Sure, no one wants to have a tooth removed (trust us, we want to keep them in your mouth too) but sometimes it really is necessary for the health of your mouth (and your smile!).

Wondering if you should get that tooth removed? Get off Google, we’ve got you covered. From wisdom teeth to decay and more, keep reading to find out: 

  • The most common reasons you might need a tooth removed

  • Signs and symptoms to look out for 

  • If you can reverse a cavity or tooth decay

  • Tooth removal FAQs. 


When you need to get a tooth removed

There are a few main reasons why you would need to have your tooth pulled. 

  1. Overcrowding
    You may have heard the term “overcrowding” around the clinic before. In essence, it means that some teeth have grown or moved into the wrong position. Sometimes this can be corrected with aligners or other straightening methods, however in cases of overcrowding, removal is usually recommended.

  2. Tooth decay
    While tooth decay can often be managed with fillings or other dental treatments, if left unattended, your teeth may become unsalvageable. In these cases, removal is necessary to prevent infection and further damage to the rest of your smile. A little reminder of why it’s so important to get regular checkups and nip any oral issues in the bud early on.

  3. Extensive damage
    Similarly to decay, if your teeth have undergone extensive damage, (for example, after an injury where they’ve been badly broken), removal may be necessary.

  4. Infection
    If tooth decay is left untreated, it can spread and more of your teeth can become severely infected. If not removed, the infection could lead to the loss of several teeth so it’s best to act swiftly.

  5. Wisdom teeth
    One of the biggest reasons why you will need a tooth removed, is when your wisdom teeth come through! While there are some lucky people who have no issues with them, lots of patients find their wisdom teeth cause pain, overcrowding in the mouth, and can damage  the teeth next to them. They can even cause straight teeth to shift out of alignment.

Signs you might need a damaged tooth removed 

If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms, you should book in a dental appointment as soon as possible. Early action is key and can help prevent the need for extractions later down the line. 

  • Pain when eating or drinking

  • Visible holes or signs of decay 

  • Halitosis (chronic bad breath) 

  • Inflammation in the mouth and around the gums. 


Can you reverse cavities or tooth decay? 

Good news, just because you suspect your teeth have cavities or decay it doesn’t mean you need an extraction, or even a filling. It is possible in some cases to reverse cavities and tooth decay, and your dentist can help. Read more about how to reverse cavities and tooth decay. 

Tooth removal FAQs

Does it hurt? 

No, a tooth extraction will not hurt you! We use local anaesthetic or general anesthetic during the removal process so you won’t feel a thing. You may experience some tenderness and soreness afterwards, which can be managed with panadol or pain relief medicine prescribed by your dentist. 

How long does it take to remove a tooth? 

Time in chair varies from patient to patient and will depend on a few different factors like how many teeth need to be removed, tooth location, is it easy to access etc. Usually you should be out within the hour.  

Can you return to work after having a tooth removed?

We generally recommended that you take the day off work to allow any anaesthetic to wear off. Depending on your treatment and your line of work, you may be able to perform light duties, however, it’s best to chat to your dentist and evaluate the decision together.

How much does it cost to remove a tooth? 

The cost varies depending on your circumstances, but if you have private health insurance you might be eligible for a rebate. 

How much does it cost to remove wisdom teeth? 

As a general rule of thumb, to have all four wisdom teeth removed will cost between $1200 – $2000. However, if you have private health insurance, you may be entitled to a partial or full rebate. Alternatively, you can choose to go on a ZipMoney plan. Find out about our payment plan options.


Will a tooth removal ruin my smile? 

If you’re getting a tooth removed due to decay or damage, and not overcrowding, then you may find that you want a replacement to keep your smile looking its best. If this is you, dental implants are the permanent solution you’re looking for!


What if I have extreme Dentophobia? 

While we try to make all our patients feel as comfortable as possible, we understand that Dentophobia is a very real fear. In these cases, you can opt for sleep dentistry and make your experience a dream (literally!). Find out more about how sleep dentistry works and what your options are here. how sleep dentistry works and what your options are here.

If you suspect you may have damage, decay, overcrowding or wisdom teeth coming through, book a checkup in now with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to help you identify if your tooth needs to be removed, and what all your options are. Book your appointment here.

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