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Tooth Extraction in Houston, TX

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What are Tooth Extractions?

For irreparably damaged teeth, the only solution might be tooth extraction. Damaged teeth can cause pain, discomfort, and infection, so they need to be attended to as soon as possible. With extraction, Cosmetic Dental Associates in Houston will remove the damaged tooth from the mouth carefully. If only the visible part of the tooth needs to be removed, a simple extraction will be performed. However, for more complex cases where the tooth isn’t visible, a surgical extraction would be done. Cosmetic Dental Associates also performs wisdom teeth extractions to prevent impactions. After any extraction, the medical team will then work with the patient to provide a replacement option, such as a dental implant or a crown. 

What can I Expect with tooth extractions?

Depending on whether the dentist performs a simple or surgical tooth extraction, the technique and experience will differ. In either case, there will be a thorough examination prior to extraction when X-rays will be taken to determine the type of extraction needed. In addition, the patient is usually offered a form of sedation to help the patient feel comfortable and at ease during the procedure. It’s advised that the patient not eat or drink anything for 6 – 8 hours before the surgery. If a patient experiences nausea or vomiting before the extraction, they will need to call the dentist’s office to possibly reschedule to avoid health complications. Smoking on the day of surgery is prohibited because of the risks and complications it can pose in the healing process.

What is a Simple tooth Extraction?

With a simple extraction, the dentist will give the patient a local anesthetic to alleviate any pain. The dentist will use a pair of forceps to grip the impacted tooth and loosen it from the jawbones and the ligaments which hold it in place. The socket that holds the tooth must be widened and enlarged to separate the tooth from the ligaments. A device called a dental elevator, a screwdriver-like tool, is placed between the tooth and gum to make it easier to remove the tooth by expanding the socket. 

What is a Surgical Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth or any teeth not visible above the gum line, such as severely broken teeth or teeth with long, curved roots require a more complex surgical extraction. General anesthesia is often used on the patient prior to procedure. To obtain access to the impacted tooth, the dentist may need to cut through bone, gums, and tissue. Sometimes, the dentist will need to cut the tooth in pieces in order to fully remove it.

What can I expect after a tooth extraction?

After either type of extraction, a blood clot will usually form in the socket of the removed tooth. After a simple extraction, the dentist will pack the area with gauze and have the patient bite down in order to stop bleeding. With surgical extraction, the dentist will stitch the area and then place the gauze pads. After extraction, the patient should refrain from unnecessary eating, drinking, or talking for at least 2 hours. After the bleeding has stopped, the patient should drink plenty of cold or lukewarm fluids.

On the first day after the extraction, only soft foods should be eaten and the patient shouldn’t brush or rinse their teeth for 12 hours following the extraction. When brushing is resumed, the extraction area should be avoided with the toothbrush, but the area can be gently rinsed with salt water. The patient also shouldn’t spit forcefully, which may dislodge the blood clot. The healing process usually starts about 1 – 2 weeks following the tooth extraction. This is the time when new gum tissue and bone will fill in the gap where the tooth or teeth have been removed. After about 3 – 4 weeks, the gums should be fully healed. Complete healing of the entire mouth can take up to 6 months, but it varies from person to person.

How much does tooth extraction cost?

There are several factors that determine how much a tooth extraction will cost, such as the type of extraction, the difficulty of removing the tooth, and how many teeth will be extracted. On average, a patient may pay from $130 to $250 for a simple extraction. A surgical extraction can cost between $180 and $400. During the patient’s consultation, the dentist will provide a breakdown of pricing. Our front office can also check with the patient’s insurance carrier since many dental insurance plans will pay up to 80% of the cost, if the surgery is a medical necessity.

Tooth Extraction FAQ

Will my facial structure change after a tooth extraction?
Yes, tooth extractions can potentially lead to changes in facial structure, particularly if multiple teeth are removed and not replaced. The jawbone requires the stimulation it gets from the teeth to maintain its density and form. When teeth are removed and not replaced, the area of the jawbone that supports these teeth can lose bone mass over time. This process is known as bone resorption.

Is it normal to experience numbness after a tooth extraction?
Yes, experiencing numbness immediately after a tooth extraction is normal and usually due to the local anesthesia used during the procedure to prevent pain. This numbness typically affects the area around the extracted tooth, including parts of your jaw, lips, and tongue, depending on the extraction site and the type of anesthesia used. However, this numbness should be temporary. Most local anesthetics used in dental procedures wear off within a few hours. Persistent numbness beyond 24 hours should be reported to your dentist, as it may indicate nerve involvement.

Can tooth extraction lead to dry socket and how is it treated?
Yes, tooth extraction can lead to a painful condition known as dry socket (alveolar osteitis). Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms in the socket (the hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed) is dislodged or dissolves before the wound has had a chance to heal. This exposes the underlying bone and nerves, resulting in pain not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face. Dry socket typically occurs a few days after a tooth extraction and is more common following the removal of lower wisdom teeth, though it can occur with the extraction of any tooth.

What foods should I avoid after a tooth extraction?
After a tooth extraction, it's crucial to avoid certain foods that can disrupt the healing process, cause discomfort, or lead to complications like infection or dry socket. Opt for soft, cool foods like yogurt, smoothies, and soups for the first few days. Avoid these types of food:

  • Hard Foods: Nuts, seeds, chips, and hard candies can be too difficult to chew and may irritate the extraction site
  • Crunchy Foods: Granola, popcorn, and crispy bread should be avoided as they can get lodged in the extraction site, leading to pain and infection
  • Sticky Foods: Foods like caramel, chewing gum, and sticky candies can dislodge the blood clot forming over your extraction site.
  • Chewy Foods: Bagels, tough meats, and gum can increase the risk of stitches coming loose and can cause pain by putting more pressure on the extraction site
  • Spicy Foods: Spicy dishes can irritate the extraction site, leading to discomfort and slowing down the healing process
  • Highly Acidic Foods: Citrus fruits and tomato-based foods can irritate the wound and slow healing
  • Very Hot Foods and Liquids: Hot beverages and foods can increase swelling and may dislodge the blood clot protecting the extraction site

How long does it take for the extraction site to heal?
The initial healing phase takes about 1-2 weeks, during which the gum tissue starts to close. Complete bone healing in the jaw may take several months. Full healing and remodeling of the bone can take up to 6 months or more, depending on the individual case. This phase involves the bone fully filling in the area where the tooth's roots once were and stabilizing.

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If you think that you could benefit from a tooth extraction, we would be more than happy to assist you. Give our friendly staff a call today, so we can schedule your consultation immediately. During your consultation, the dentist can give you all of the information you need about tooth extraction to help you make an informed decision.

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