Tooth Extraction Can Help Preserve Your Oral Health
A tooth extraction may be necessary for patients experiencing severe tooth decay, trauma, or periodontal disease that cannot be treated through other restorative treatments, such as dental fillings or root canal therapy. At our practice in Tomball, TX, Dr. Louis Russell, Jr., performs tooth extractions and other procedures in our own surgical facility, making sure you receive the proper care that reflects our highest standards. At Russell Family Dentistry, we understand that going to the dentist can be a worrisome and stressful experience. Our entire team is dedicated to creating a calm, comfortable, and relaxing environment for our patients.
When is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Repairing natural teeth is always our preference. However, sometimes a tooth can be so badly damaged, it cannot be addressed adequately with restorative treatments. When left untreated, problematic teeth can affect your oral and overall health. Common reasons a tooth extraction may be necessary include:
- Tooth Infection: If an abscessed tooth cannot be successfully treated with root canal therapy, it will need to be removed to prevent bacteria from spreading to the surrounding teeth.
- Gum Disease: Infection from periodontal disease can cause recession of the jawbone and gum tissue, eliminating proper support for a tooth.
- Fracture: Sometimes a cracked tooth can be repaired with restorative treatments. When the fracture is too severe, however, the tooth must be removed.
- Adjunctive Treatment: Tooth extractions are commonly performed in preparation for other treatments, such as receiving dental implants or dentures.
- Preventive Treatment: Teeth may be extracted to prevent further problems from developing. For this reason, many dentists recommend the proactive removal of wisdom teeth.
It is important to note that while Dr. Russell can extract wisdom teeth as a preventive measure, impacted wisdom teeth will need to be extracted by a specialist. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, we can refer you to a trusted oral surgeon.
The Tooth Extraction Process
During an initial consultation, Dr. Russell will perform a full evaluation of your oral health. Your teeth and gums will be examined, and x-rays will be taken to check the health of the surrounding bone. If tooth removal is necessary, the type of extraction you require will depend on the extent of the problem. At Russell Family Dentistry, we offer two types of extractions to meet your needs:
- Simple Extraction: When the crown of a tooth is still intact and above the gum line, a simple extraction is typically performed. Local anesthesia will be administered to numb your gums and make sure you are comfortable. A special instrument called an elevator will be used to gently free the tooth from the gum tissue. Once the tooth is loosened, Dr. Russell will remove it from the bony socket with forceps. Following the extraction, stitches may be used to help close the extraction site.
- Complex Extraction: Teeth that have broken off at the gum line may require a complex extraction. Once local anesthesia is administered, a small opening will be made in the gum tissue to gain better access to the tooth. The tooth will be loosened and gently removed. Following the extraction, the site will be closed with stitches for optimal healing.
Repairing natural teeth is always our preference. However, sometimes a tooth can be so badly damaged, it cannot be addressed adequately with restorative treatments. When left untreated, problematic teeth can affect your oral and overall health.
Recovery After Tooth Extraction
Knowing what to anticipate throughout your treatment can help alleviate any concerns you may have about tooth extraction.
- Immediate Recovery: During the first 24 hours after your extraction, you will probably notice slight bleeding in the surgical area. This is normal, and should subside over the next day or two. You should keep physical activity to a minimum for at least 48 hours to help reduce bleeding and swelling. Additionally, you should take all prescribed medications as directed, and use over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to reduce any swelling or discomfort. Cold compresses can be applied in 20-minute increments to the external surface of the surgical site to decrease swelling for the first 24 hours. Do not brush the surgical site during the first few days of recovery. Beginning on day two, gently cleanse the extraction site with a warm salt water rinse.
- Weeks One and Two: The gum tissue around the extraction site will begin to close. Any stitches that were placed can typically be removed seven to ten days after the procedure.
- Weeks Three and Four: The gum tissue will completely close together during this time period. A slight indentation in the gums will still be visible.
- Continued Bone Healing: The jawbone will continue to heal for several months following a tooth extraction. You will notice the indentation becoming less noticeable, and the gum tissue will appear smoother.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing tooth pain, or suspect you may need an extraction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Russell as soon as possible. Contact us online or call Russell Family Dentistry at (281) 351-5458 to speak with a member of our staff.
“As always was greeted, signed in and was taken back to the exam room in less than 5 minutes from arrival, Cleaning and exam were conducted without delay, I've had this same experience every time I've had an appointment here.” Russell S. - current patient