The friendliest DENTAL TEAM in Tauranga!

Dental Extractions

Dental extractions can be done for a variety of reasons. 

  • The tooth has decay into the nerve, and you do not want to keep the tooth by root filling it.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth (these are referred to another dental practitioner)
  • Broken at or below the gum line - not fixable
  • Only a third of people that have orthodontic treatment require tooth removal
  • Wobbly teeth due to gum disease
  • Fractured through the root of the tooth

Having a tooth removed due to decay is not something anyone would want every time they see a dentist, but some people put off having their teeth checked and then end up with this as the only option. Prevention is key to losing multiple teeth, see our dental prevention page for some top tips. 

We refer impacted wisdom teeth to be removed under IV sedation with several practitioners in Tauranga, for example Tauranga OMS. We also refer broken-down root-filled teeth to be removed as they are very brittle and likely to become a surgical procedure.


Local anaesthetic is placed after a numbing gel, to freeze the tooth and either side of the gum. The gum and tooth are checked and re-checked to ensure the tooth and surrounding structures are fully numb prior to tooth removal. If at any time there is any pain, we stop, check, re-apply more anaesthetic, check for numbness again and continue.

Funny noises can be heard sometimes when we remove teeth, and if the tooth is broken down or has gross decay, bits of the tooth can break off. This is very normal. 

Until we start removing the tooth, we do not know how long it will take. Some people's bone that holds their teeth in place is very tough, and some is not. Plenty of time is booked for an extraction therefore it is not a rushed job, as slow and steady wins the race. 

Gauze is placed onto the tooth socket and the patient bites hard onto this to achieve a blood clot. Written instructions are given to all patients - see below.


The following steps will help prevent bleeding and relieve soreness:

REST: Rest for a few hours following treatment and avoid strenuous exercise.

SALT WATER: Do not rinse your mouth on the day of surgery. The next day, you may bathe your mouth gently with warm salt water after meals and before bed.  Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Hold the solution in your mouth for several minutes, discard and repeat 2-3 times, particularly after eating. It is normal for you to have blood-stained saliva. Do not rinse vigorously as this may make the socket bleed and inhibit healing.

FOOD: In the first 24 hours, avoid hot fluids, alcohol, hard or chewy foods.  Choose cool drinks and soft or minced foods, such as luke-warm soup, banana, soft bread, pasta, scrambled eggs. Avoid sucking at or interfering with the wound. 

BLEEDING: Should bleeding occur sit upright with head and shoulders raised.  Apply pressure using a small pad of gauze or clean linen clamped very firmly between your teeth for 15 minutes - repeat if necessary. Call us immediately if this is unsuccessful.

PAIN: For the next five days, please take 2 Paracetamol (500mg x2) every 6 hours if necessary (maximum 8 tablets per day) and 2 Ibuprofen (200mg x2) every 8 hours (maximum 6 tablets per day). These are best bought as a “home-brand” or “value” pack from a supermarket as they are the same medicine as the branded packaging.

INJECTIONS: While the numbness lasts, great care must be taken not to bite the cheek or lip, otherwise these will become very sore.

ANTIBIOTICS: These are occasionally prescribed, but generally they are not needed. If antibiotics have been prescribed please continue the whole course of the tablets until they are finished.

SMOKING: Please avoid smoking for 48 hours as this greatly affects the healing process following extraction. You can suffer from “dry socket” which is when the blood clot has been lost usually due to smoking, causing significant pain; this pain can be worse than your original toothache. Sometimes you can get a dry socket even if you are a non-smoker.

AFTER 24 HOURS: For several days following treatment bathe your mouth gently with warm salt water after meals and before bed. Savacol can be used as an alternative mouth rinse. Hold the solution in your mouth for several minutes, discard and repeat 2-3 times.

Your teeth can and should be brushed carefully.
A clean and healthy mouth aids healing.

If excessive bleeding, undue pain or other symptoms occur contact your Dentist 
(Gardens Dental Dr Fiona Paterson 075712861) for advice without delay.
If this occurs after hours, please go to Tauranga Hospital on Cameron Road

I had my first visit at Garden Dental today on recommendation from a friend. Fi made me feel very welcome and is super friendly and caring with a very down-to-earth yet professional manner. I felt quickly at ease which is just what you want when you visit the Dentist. Everyone at Gardens was in fact wonderful and friendly. I'm very happy and will definitely will be coming back :-) thanks again!!
Natalie Thompson  
I can not recomend Fiona and Vicki enough. Have always dreaded going to the dentist until these guys. Cannot stress how easy they made each appointment, they give the good drugs so you dont feel a thing. They are also lovely and friendly and always great at making you laugh. seriously cant recomend them enough : )
Ali Uden  
I have never felt so relaxed or happy about going to the dentist. Fi and Vicky are incredible and make me feel so at ease. I really wouldn’t go anywhere else!!
Sian Casserly  
What an absolutely refreshing change to go to a dentist and come out after an amazing, painless process. Have not regretted changing to Fiona and her team.
Steve Bolt  
One of the best dental experiences to date. Fi was fun and lighthearted which made for a pleasant appointment. Super gentle and checked in with me often to make sure I was ok. Can’t recommend her and her skills enough!!
Kristy Whitchelo  
Fi and Vicki you are honestly such a fantastic dental team. I have been visiting for many years now and can not speak any more highly of you both. You make my visits feel so relaxed that it doesn't feel like you are even at the dentist. Thank you girls for always looking after me, you are the best
Louise Fox  
Just recently had a cleaning & cavity filled by the lovely Fi from Gardens Dental. She is amazing and works wonders not only on your teeth but also to ensure you are comfortable and at ease during your time with her! Would highly recommend her to anyone needing a local dentist!
Jess Lowcher  
First review because I just wanted to say Fi and Vicky are honestly the scared of dentists but they have made it the best experience ever. Very gentle, zero pain for multiple complicated procedures and don’t make you feel bad about not going to the dentist for ages ..they are super cool!
David Weaver  
Fiona is great to deal with and goes the extra mile, even ringing you in the evening to check that all is well. She is highly professional and a breath of fresh air. A thoroughly honest and approachable dentist.
Jez Rogers  
I had extensive work done on my lower teeth and a new top denture made. It was almost a fun experience.
Fi & Vicki are a great team, and their constant banter helped me to relax. They did so much to improve my smile and my self confidence. I highly recommend them both.
Helen Roberts