Fillings And Extractions At Your Local Purley NHS Dentist

Taking a look at two of the most common NHS dental procedures.

At the Confidental Clinic in Purley; whilst we offer a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures to help our patients have a beautiful smile, we also practice general family dental care which offers not only preventative dentistry, such as check ups and x rays, but also restorative procedures where the patient’s teeth need treating.

In today’s blog, we take a look at two of the most common procedures that we, as local NHS dentists, perform on a weekly basis.


Where a tooth has suffered from dental decay, it will need to be filled. If the decay is allowed to continue, it will spread and it may, eventually, be too late to save the natural tooth. To perform a filling, a local anaesthetic is given to the patient to make the procedure more comfortable. The decayed part of the tooth will then be removed using a drill, and the tooth shaped in order for the filling to be placed.

NHS fillings are made from amalgam, a mixture of metals which includes tin, silver and mercury. This is a very strong filling material which allows patients to eat normally once the filling has hardened. The main downside to this material is that it is dark in colour and therefore very visible. Tooth coloured fillings are also available at our Purley practice, but these are available privately only, and not on the NHS.


Although we will always try to preserve the natural tooth at the Confidental Clinic, sometimes this is not practical. When a tooth is very badly decayed or broken, there may be little choice but to extract the tooth. Despite what many people may think, a tooth is not simply pulled out. Once the local anaesthetic has taken effect, the dentist will gradually and gently move the tooth from side to side, slowly loosening the grip of the jawbone upon the tooth.

Once the bone has released its grip on the tooth, it can then be pulled away from the socket. You will be given a piece of sterile gauze to bite down on which will stop the bleeding and help in the formation of a blood clot which will start the healing process.

You should avoid doing anything, such as violent spitting, which may dislodge the blood clot. You will be given full advice on this and other aftercare instructions during your appointment.

You may wish to consider replacing your missing tooth with an artificial replacement. Dentures and bridges are available as part of our NHS treatments, but dental implants are only available as a private patient.  We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of these methods with you so that you can make an informed decision as to which most suits your requirements.

Please find out more information about our NHS dental services by calling the Confidental Clinic in Purley on 020 8660 8923.