Tooth Extractions – North Central San Antonio, TX
Keep Your Smile Healthy & Perfectly Functional
No dentist would recommend the removal of even one tooth unless it was for the benefit of a patient’s oral and overall health. At Legacy Dental SA, we focus treatment plans on prevention to help our patients maintain healthy smiles, and when tooth decay or damage does occur, we work hard to flawlessly repair teeth. Unfortunately, saving a tooth isn’t always possible, and in fact, there are times when keeping a tooth isn’t the best option. In these cases, we’ll recommend tooth extraction. If you have questions about tooth extraction or you want to learn more about all of our dental care services, please don’t hesitate to call our dental office in North Central San Antonio to schedule a consultation. We promise to do our utmost to ensure you maintain a healthy smile.
When is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
We would never recommend the removal of a tooth lightly, but there are cases where this is the best option. Some of the most common situations where we would recommend tooth extraction include the following:
- When severe tooth damage or decay makes restoration impossible.
- When primary (baby) teeth do not fall out on their own.
- When teeth are impacted, unable to erupt from the gum line.
- When crowding causes teeth to shift out of alignment, placing excessive pressure on surrounding teeth.
- Wisdom teeth, third molars, are most often extracted due to their late eruption in the smile, which can lead to a lack of space to accommodate these new teeth.
How are Teeth Extracted?
Whatever tooth extraction method we use, our first priority is always your comfort. Some patients do just fine with an appropriate amount of local anesthetic, but if you need several teeth removed at once or you have sensitive teeth, gums, or gag reflexes, we may also recommend dental sedation. Once you’re comfortable and relaxed, we will typically remove teeth either through pulling or surgical extraction. Pulling is possible when a newly erupted tooth is completely emerged from the gum line, but it hasn’t fully fused with supportive structures. This allows us to easily break the tooth free from the supportive tissues. In most cases, we will need to use some element of surgical removal, including making incisions in the gum tissue to reveal more tooth structure, drilling into bone to release the tooth roots, or even breaking the tooth into smaller pieces for easier extraction.
What Happens After Tooth Extraction?
During your treatment planning process, our team will walk you through every step of your at-home care following tooth extraction. However, some of the important elements to keep in mind include:
- Stick to a liquid diet for the first 48 hours. Avoid excessively hot or cold liquids. Don’t use a straw as this can dislodge your blood clot and impede healing. When your site has stopped bleeding, you may begin eating solid foods. Start off with softer options like mashed potatoes. Then, you can introduce more difficult to chew foods when you’re comfortable.
- Use ice packs at 20 minute intervals to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and slow bleeding. For the first two days, ice packs and cold compresses are an essential aspect of your recovery. After the first two days, if you’re still experiencing severe pain, swelling, and heavy blood flow, you may want to call our team.
- Get plenty of rest in the days following surgery. The body needs deep sleep to start repairing damaged cells, but strain of any kind can significantly increase the amount of time it takes for the body to heal.
- Take your prescriptions (antibiotics, pain relievers, etc.) and over the counter medications as directed.