Tooth Extractions in Webster, TX
Webster, TX dentists Drs. Das and Pham are committed to preserving your natural teeth without tooth extraction. However, there are cases when removing a tooth is the only way to bring back function and restore your smile. At Clear Lake Dental Care, we provide safe and comfortable tooth removal for adults, as well as children ages 12 and up.
What is Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures performed at a dentist’s office. When there is no saving a tooth, it must be removed or pulled from the mouth. This procedure falls under exodontia, the branch of dentistry that deals with the extraction of teeth.
When is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Tooth extraction is usually a last resort, but in some cases, it is the only solution. Our dentists at Clear Lake Dental may remove a tooth in any of the following cases.
- Severe damage or decay: if the tooth cannot be saved with decay prevention, root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment we remove it to prevent the spread of infection to other healthy teeth.
- Wisdom teeth: whether the tooth has started to come out, gets trapped or has not started to grow in we remove wisdom teeth to prevent damage to healthy structures.
- Advanced gum disease: if severe gum disease has destroyed the gums and underlying bone, the tooth may be too loose to be saved. In this case, the tooth must be removed and replaced.
- Preparing for orthodontic treatment: if teeth are too crowded they are removed before braces or Invisalign. This allows room for the teeth to move into proper alignment.
- Preparing for dentures or implants: all teeth in the treatment area need to be removed in order to be replaced by dentures or dentures supported by implants
How Do I Prepare for my Tooth Removal Procedure?
When we are preparing for your tooth extraction, we will take the steps necessary to ensure that you feel no pain during the procedure. We will administer localized anesthesia to the area where the tooth is being extracted. At Clear Lake Dental Care, we do these types of procedures all the time, and our experience helps ensure there will be no problems with extracting your teeth.
If you have anxiety that is brought about by a previous dental procedure, we will take a number of steps to ensure that you are comfortable before we perform your procedure. If necessary, we can offer you dental sedation. Our concern is that you are at ease when the tooth extraction takes place since we know that these types of procedures can be nerve-racking, and we will do our best to calm your nerves.
How is Tooth Extraction Surgery Performed?
When extracting a tooth there are two types of procedures, a simple or surgical extraction. During a simple extraction, one of our Clear Lake Dental Care dentists will use forceps to remove the tooth. This can only be performed in the case that the tooth is above the gumline. If the tooth is not above the gum line, we perform a surgical extraction. This is common for wisdom teeth and involves stitches and anesthesia. After your teeth are removed, our staff at Clear Lake Dental Care may place a bridge, implant, or dentures to replace the now missing teeth.
In the case that patients suffer an injury or are in extreme pain, they can call for emergency dental work. Our staff would be happy to help you schedule an appointment for immediate tooth extraction.
How do I maintain my oral health immediately after a tooth extraction?
One key to a fast recovery is to take it easy for at least 24 hours. This keeps blood pressure on the facial area down. You’ll need to avoid rinsing or spitting forcefully for 24 hours after the extraction to not dislodge the blood clot that has formed in the socket. Do not use a straw for the first 24 hours.
After 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth with a solution made of ½ teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Don’t get carried away with aggressive swishing.
You can’t smoke during your recovery, and you should eat soft foods to not disturb the extraction site. You should prop your head up when lying down. You continue to brush and floss your teeth, and brush your tongue, but simply avoid the extraction site. Even limited brushing will help keep your mouth clean and minimize the possibility of infection.
How long do I keep gauze on my tooth socket after the procedure?
It’s completely normal to have some degree of low-level bleeding for up to 24 hours after your extraction. But it shouldn’t progress beyond that timeframe. You’ll need to keep your first gauze in place for at least one hour to allow the clot to form. This will include biting pressure to help the clot form. After an hour, you can remove the gauze and evaluate the socket. If the area is no longer actively bleeding, the clot has formed. If you have continued low-level bleeding, you’ll want to place new gauze. Once the clot has formed, you can change the gauze as often as necessary.
How will I know if I have an infection after my tooth extraction procedure?
Infections in the gums where the tooth was extracted need to be addressed to keep the infection from spreading elsewhere in the body. These are signs of infection:
- Bad breath
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Swelling of the area
- Swollen glands of the neck
- Swelling in the jaw
How long does a tooth extraction take?
For a basic tooth that is above the gum line, these are simple procedures taking just 20-40 minutes. If we are pulling multiple teeth, adding 5-10 minutes for each additional tooth is typical.
This doesn’t apply to teeth that are still under the gumline, where an incision must be made in the gums to access the tooth. This is common for wisdom teeth. Those are more involved procedures and we can give you an idea of the expected duration during your consultation when Dr. Das, Dr. Pham, or Dr. Rivera can get a better feel for your situation.
How long after my extraction can I drive?
How long will my swelling last after a tooth extraction?
The degree of swelling varies depending on the tooth location if the tooth was already loose, and your unique situation. If you use an ice bag for 10 minutes at a time for the first day after the procedure, this helps keep swelling down. The swelling will usually increase for the first 48 hours or so and then begin to go down. It can linger for up to five days or so but will decrease after the first couple of days.
Again, this is not the case with the extraction of wisdom teeth. If the teeth were impacted and had to be broken to be removed this can create some pretty involved swelling.
What are the benefits of having a tooth extracted?
At Clear Lake, we always hope to be able to keep the tooth, but sometimes it’s the best option to remove a tooth. If a tooth has too much decay, removing so much of the tooth mass won’t leave a tooth that has any strength. It may not even be able to hold a crown. It’s likely a tooth-like this is also causing you significant pain. Removing it will stop the pain, and it can be replaced with a dental implant. If your mouth is too small for all of your teeth, removing a couple of permanent teeth can give you the room you need. This is usually combined with orthodontics to move the teeth into the correct places and achieve good alignment.
Removing teeth with serious decay and infected pulp also has the benefit of keeping that infection from spreading to another area of the body. Research has shown that dental infections can even impact your cardiovascular health as the infection spreads.
And if you have serious gum disease, it’s likely your teeth have started to loosen. In these cases, removing the teeth will be necessary to start you on the path to healthier future oral health. We’ll probably look to replace your extracted teeth with implant-supported dentures.
What options do I have after a tooth extraction?
Now that the heavily decayed or damaged tooth has been removed, your danger of infection is gone. But now you have a gap in your teeth that can cause alignment problems, is aesthetically unappealing, and may affect what you eat (depending on the location).
If possible, it’s always best to replace an extracted tooth with a dental implant. At Clear Lake Dental Care, implants are a specialty of ours. Dr. Das, Dr. Pham, and Dr. Acevedo all have extensive experience placing implants. Plus, in most cases, an implant will last the remainder of the patient’s life.
If you’re having a few teeth pulled, a bridge or an implant-supported partial denture could be a good option.
All of these tooth replacements keep your other teeth in place, so they don’t migrate and affect your overall bite. Plus, replacing the extracted tooth allows you to eat normal foods, and it prevents possible whistling sounds when speaking. And your smile is complete once again.
What kinds of foods can I eat after a tooth extraction?
As you would assume, you’ll need to stick with soft foods for at least a couple of days after your extraction. It may be tempting to each something like a potato chip, chewing on the opposite side, but pieces can still make it over to your extraction site and that’s not worth the risk of dislodging the blood clot. You’ll also need to avoid foods that are overly acidic or spicy. Generally, we recommend these foods for a few days:
- Cool soups
- Scrambled eggs
- Ice cream
What is the Recovery from Tooth Removal?
After the procedure, patients can experience some pain. We recommend ice to relieve pain and swelling, rinsing with salt water, and anti-inflammatory medication. Additionally, Dr. Das may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Most patients fully recover within one to two weeks.
How do your gums heal after tooth extraction?
The socket left in the gums after the tooth was removed goes through three stages as it heals. First, the area becomes inflamed. The gum becomes inflamed, a blood clot forms inside the socket and granulation tissue forms over the wound. New tissue usually replaces the clot within a week after the extraction. Following this process is the proliferative phase when the wound begins to close. The final stage is the maturation phase, where cells in the site form new connective tissue, called collagen, to fully heal the area.
Are there risks associated with tooth extraction?
The main risk with tooth extraction is what is known as “dry socket.” This occurs when a blood clot doesn’t form in the hole or the blood clot breaks off or breaks down too early. This happens in about 3-4 percent of all extractions, although the occurrence is higher after difficult extractions, particularly with impacted wisdom teeth.
Dry socket is a problem because, without the blood clot, the underlying bone is exposed to air and food. This is usually very painful, and it will likely create a bad odor and a bad taste in your mouth.
Beyond dry socket, there is also a risk of infection after extraction. This is rare in patients with healthy immune systems. There are slight risks of damage to other adjacent teeth, a fractured jaw caused by pressure during extraction (usually only possible with patients with osteoporosis), and a hole in the sinus when an upper back molar is extracted.
Generally, the main risk/complication after extraction is soreness in the jaw muscles and jaw joints. This is due to your anesthetic injections and having your mouth open for a long period of time.