What is tooth extraction?
As the name suggests, tooth extraction is a medical procedure wherein a tooth is removed from your mouth. You may need a tooth extraction for several reasons, such as removing wisdom teeth, removing baby teeth, or extracting severely damaged or infected teeth. Our dentists only recommend tooth extractions if they’re deemed to be essential for your overall oral health. We don’t recommend tooth extractions if your teeth can be saved.
Why is tooth extraction performed?
Wisdom tooth removal is the most common type of tooth extraction. The wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final molars located at the back of your mouth. They grow in your late teens or early twenties, long after all other permanent teeth have erupted. By the time your wisdom teeth grow, your jawbone is already fully developed, so your mouth may not have enough space for another set of teeth.
That’s why the wisdom teeth can often grow at awkward angles, push against other teeth, or remain stuck under the gum line. If your wisdom tooth doesn’t grow properly, it’s known as an impacted wisdom tooth. Your dentist may recommend emergency wisdom tooth extraction to protect your overall oral health and the surrounding teeth. The impacted wisdom tooth can damage your surrounding gum tissues and teeth and increase the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Besides wisdom tooth extraction, you may also need tooth removal for other reasons, such as tooth infections, overcrowding, orthodontic procedures, dental decay, and severe damages. The following are some of the most common reasons for tooth extraction:
- Tooth Decay: You may need a tooth extraction if you have severe tooth decay or a cavity that’s spread into the deepest parts of your teeth. Superficial cavities that only affect the enamel can be treated with dental fillings. However, if you don’t seek dental fillings and root canals promptly, you may eventually need a tooth extraction.
- Overcrowding: If you have extremely crooked and misaligned teeth, you may have overcrowding because of insufficient space in your jawbone. Crooked and misaligned teeth can lead to severe dental problems, such as gum disease and an increased risk of cavities. Your dentist may need to remove a few teeth before your orthodontic procedure to make sufficient space in your jawbone.
- Dental Injuries: You may need to extract a tooth if it’s severely damaged or fractured. Minor, superficial fractures can be treated or fixed with dental fillings, crowns, onlays, or other techniques. However, if the dental crack or fracture extends under the gum line or reaches deep within the tooth, you may need a tooth extraction. If you don’t remove the damaged tooth, you may eventually experience tooth infections.
What is the cost of tooth extraction?
The cost of tooth extraction depends on numerous factors, such as the location of the impacted tooth, the type of tooth extraction necessary, anesthesia usage, and other factors. You may receive insurance coverage for tooth extraction in some cases. Please schedule your dentist appointment for a thorough evaluation — we provide a comprehensive dental extraction cost overview after a consultation.
Tooth extraction preparation guidelines:
- Inform your dentist about all ongoing medications and supplements
- Provide the dentist a complete overview of your medical history
- You may have to take prescription antibiotics for a few days before the procedure
- Wear loose-fitting clothes for your appointment
- Don’t eat or drink for approximately eight hours before your procedure
- Stop smoking several days before the procedure
- Inform your dentist if you had nausea the previous night
- Inform your dentist if you have a cold
- Arrange to have someone drive you back from the clinic if you’re receiving general anesthesia
How is a tooth extraction performed?
- Simple Tooth Extraction: The dentist will numb the areas around your teeth using local anesthesia, loosen the tooth using an elevator, and then remove it with forceps.
- Surgical Tooth Extraction: If you have an impacted tooth, the dentist will perform a surgical tooth extraction under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. The dentist will make a small incision on your gum, remove bone around your tooth, cut the tooth into small pieces, and extract it from the socket one piece at a time.
Tooth extraction aftercare guidelines:
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling
- Bite down on an antiseptic gauze to reduce bleeding
- Take over-the-counter pain medications, as prescribed
- Relax for 24 hours
- Don’t rinse or spit for 24 hours
- Keep your head elevated
- Avoid the extraction site while brushing
- Eat soft foods, like pudding and yogurt
- Avoid hot beverages or crunchy food
- After the first 24 hours, rinse your mouth with saltwater
Is tooth extraction and filling advisable for 4-5 years old?
Yes. Tooth extractions and fillings are advisable, and even necessary, for 4 to 5 years old. Even though baby teeth are eventually lost, they must be protected and kept safe until they naturally fall out. If you don’t care for your children’s oral health, they may have long-term oral and overall health problems.
What are alternatives to dental crowns?
A dental crown can protect a weakened tooth from further damage, but it can’t replace a missing tooth — not individually. You can instead get a dental implant to replace the missing tooth’s root structure, offering a stable base for the dental crown. You can also get a dental bridge to replace the missing tooth — but the surrounding teeth will have to be filed down to small stubs to accommodate the dental crowns. Please discuss your teeth restoration options with your dentist.
Schedule an appointment at our walk-in dental clinic in Uptown Houston, TX
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art dental clinic in Uptown, Houston, specializing in tooth extractions and a wide range of restorative dental procedures. We are a walk-in dental clinic in Uptown, Houston, so you can visit our clinic whenever you want to explore your treatment options. Please schedule your dentist appointment for more information today.