At Smile 360™, we always try to save your natural teeth whenever possible. However, there are some instances when removing a tooth is necessary for your long-term oral health. Patients with significantly damaged teeth, children whose primary teeth are interfering with their permanent teeth, or candidates for orthodontic treatment with overly crowded smiles may require a tooth extraction at our Austin, TX practice.
Dr. Vincent Ip is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Texas Dental Association. His training allows him to perform both simple and surgical extractions to address your unique oral health issues.
Times Where Tooth Extraction Is Necessary
Whenever a tooth is damaged by decay or trauma, restorative procedures such as dental crowns are used to repair the damage. However, there are times when the damage is simply too extensive. In these cases, it is best to remove the tooth to preserve your oral health. A tooth extraction may also be necessary:
- When baby teeth keep the permanent teeth from erupting
- To create more space in the jaw before orthodontic treatment
- If root canal therapy is unsuccessful at removing an infection
- When the wisdom teeth are impacted or growing in sideways
No one likes to hear they need a tooth removed. But with today’s advanced techniques, tooth extraction is simpler and more comfortable than ever before.
Preparing for Your Extraction
Before removing your tooth, Dr. Ip will take digital X-rays to confirm that an extraction is the best solution. He will also discuss your health history with you in detail to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo treatment.
In the days leading up to and following your procedure, we recommend that you do not smoke. Tobacco products can constrict the blood vessels and hinder the body’s natural healing process.
Types of Tooth Extractions
The two primary types of tooth extraction are simple extraction and surgical extraction.
When a damaged tooth remains mostly intact above the gum line, a simple extraction can be performed. During this procedure, Dr. Ip will carefully loosen the surrounding tissues, then gently lift the tooth from its socket using special dental forceps. Generally, sutures are not needed following a simple extraction.
If the affected tooth has not erupted or is fractured at the gum line, a surgical extraction may be necessary. During this treatment, Dr. Ip will make a small incision in the gums around the tooth. This helps him access the tooth and the supporting jawbone. Using specialized tools, he will free the tooth from the socket and may even divide it into sections for easier removal. Following a surgical extraction, the incision is closed with stitches.
For your comfort during the procedure, Dr. Ip can provide fast-acting nitrous oxide sedation.
Healing and Recovery
Tooth removal is considered oral surgery. As with any surgical procedure, patients can expect to have some level of discomfort following their treatment. However, this can typically be mitigated with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Swelling and inflammation can be expected for the first few days. You can alleviate these symptoms by applying a cold compress to your jaw in 20-minute increments.
Most patients can complete the initial healing within one week. At this time, patients will be more comfortable and should be able to return to all normal activities. As the tissue closes, the underlying bone will continue to heal for the next several months.
Replacing an Extracted Tooth
In most cases, we recommend replacing the missing tooth after extraction. This can protect your overall oral health and prevent bone loss and shifting. Fortunately, there are several replacement solutions available today, including bridges and dental implants. During your initial consultation, Dr. Ip will discuss these options with you in detail.
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
No one likes to hear they need a tooth removed. But with today’s advanced techniques, tooth extraction is simpler and more comfortable than ever before. To learn more, schedule a consultation online or call Smile 360 at (512) 444-4746.