Despite the preventative dental care available today, there still remain many instances where teeth must be extracted. Teeth are under constant assault. Each day decay, disease, and trauma threaten to dislodge adult teeth. In some cases, the best solution for saving the smile is removing the affected tooth. Mouths are also under siege from within, as wisdom teeth and other impacted teeth can easily crowd the mouth. This can cause teeth to overlap or become crowded, leading to discomfort.
Tooth extractions are common for:
- Removing wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are an additional set of molars often removed for patient comfort. Wisdom teeth can be removed before they come in, or after. Wisdom teeth are often impacted, causing discomfort and leading to potential health risks if left in place.
- Reducing the number of teeth
Extra teeth can cause crowding in the mouth. In other cases, teeth can become impacted, causing pressure on surrounding teeth. Teeth extractions remove extra and impacted teeth, reducing tooth crowding.
- Removing decayed teeth
Teeth in advanced states of decay may require extractions. In some cases, cosmetic dentistry can help patients avoid extracting decayed teeth. When tooth decay becomes too severe, extraction may be the best alternative.
- Reducing potential for infection
Advanced gum disease, other diseases, and some health treatments can compromise the immune system. In some cases, removing teeth can help save the gums and surrounding teeth from infection and damage.
Tooth extractions are common, outpatient procedures. Tooth extractions may be performed as standalone procedures or alongside other dental procedures.
The Procedure for Tooth Extractions
At Houston Dentists at Post Oak, patient comfort is our priority. Tooth extractions and all our dental procedures include a local anesthetic and optional oral or I.V. sedation. Tooth extraction procedures are designed to be pain-free and relaxing for our patients.
The need for tooth extraction may not always be obvious. Some patients may be suffering pain while others may remain completely pain-free. In all cases, preparation for tooth extractions begins with a dental exam. During a dental exam at Houston Dentists at Post Oak, X-rays are taken to determine the best course for extracting teeth. This allows our dentists to see the impact a tooth extraction will have on the remaining teeth and on the facial structure.
The affected area is treated with a local anesthetic. Patients may also request oral or I.V. sedation but can expect to remain in a conscious state during the procedure. Patients are asked to avoid food for six hours leading up to a tooth extraction if they are to be sedated. During the extraction, the tooth and root are carefully removed, minimizing the impact on the gums. The gums may be sutured to promote healing. Once the tooth and root are completely removed the extraction process is complete. Patients typically require assistance returning home following a tooth extraction.
Teeth extractions are surgical procedures to remove teeth. Following a tooth extraction, patients must exercise care to ensure proper healing. Patients are asked to avoid smoking, traumatizing the wound, or drinking through straws for at least 72 hours following a tooth extraction to avoid dry socket. Dry socket results when blood clots fail to form (or become loose) following an extraction. Dry socket can be painful and must be treated by a dentist. Follow any specific instructions and take prescribed medications as directed.
Most patients can expect tooth extraction to heal fully within 1-2 weeks. Some patients may wish to consider dental implants, full or partial dentures, or dental bridges following a tooth extraction. Patients may continue to brush and floss during recovery; take care to avoid the extraction area. Soft foods and liquids for several days following surgery can reduce the impact on the extraction area.
Scheduling a Tooth Extraction
Teeth extractions are typically ordered during a dental exam and often performed on the same day. Teeth may be extracted as preventative, restorative, or complementary dental procedures. The first step in finding out how tooth extraction can help your smile is to contact Houston Dentists at Post Oak for an exam. Our office combines dental and periodontal services under one roof for expert assessments of our patient’s teeth and gums. You love your teeth and so do we. If you have to say goodbye to one, let’s do it together. Schedule a dental exam and tooth extraction by calling Houston Dentists at Post Oak today. For tooth extractions in Houston or to request more information, dial (713)-255-1029.