When a tooth is cracked, broken, or infected, dental experts make every attempt to save it. Sometimes, the damage is too severe and the tooth cannot be saved. In these cases, tooth extraction is recommended to protect the health of surrounding teeth and gums. Dr. Warren and Dr. Gatlin are board-certified oral surgeons who perform tooth extractions in Waco, TX, at Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery. We offer many anesthesia and sedation options and will walk you through every step of the process to ensure your comfort.
Do I Need a Tooth Extracted?
Thanks to advances in restorative dentistry, many damaged or infected teeth are able to be saved. There are some cases in which tooth extraction is recommended, including:
- Overcrowding. Too many teeth crowding the dental arch can interfere with orthodontic treatment. Before starting orthodontic work, we can extract one or more teeth to provide the other teeth with adequate room to align and function.
- Infection. When the inner layers of a tooth become infected, root canal therapy is performed to remove the infection and save the tooth. If the infection or decay is too severe, extraction may be necessary to relieve pain and prevent the infection from spreading to other teeth.
- Gum Disease. Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that damages the soft tissues and bone that supports teeth. If periodontitis is left untreated, it can destroy these tissues and bone, resulting in loose teeth that require extraction.
- Damage. Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth can often be repaired using a filling or dental crown. Severe cases of dental trauma may leave the tooth unrepairable, in which case extraction is necessary.
The Tooth Extraction Process
During your first visit to our office, Dr. Warren or Dr. Gatlin will examine your teeth and talk about your treatment options. We may take 3D scans of your mouth to view the underlying structures of your teeth and diagnose any underlying oral health issues. In some cases, we can extract a tooth on the same day as the consultation.
Before extracting a tooth, your surgeon will administer local anesthesia around the tooth. Local anesthesia numbs the area, so you may feel some pressure during extraction but will not feel discomfort. Your oral surgeon will use forceps to carefully extract the tooth if it has fully erupted through the gums. This is known as a simple tooth extraction. If the tooth has broken or is partially stuck under the gums, your surgeon will make an incision in the gums to access and remove the tooth. This is known as a surgical tooth extraction.
After the tooth is removed, we will place gauze in your mouth and provide you with post-operative instructions that outline how to manage bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.
Options After Tooth Extraction
Having a tooth removed can feel stressful, but our team at Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery is here to explain all of your tooth replacement options and help you make the right choice for your smile.
- Dental Implants. Dental implants are a healthy, long-lasting tooth replacement option that is designed to look, feel, and act just like a natural tooth. Dental implants are inserted into the jaw bone and become a fixed part of your smile. Because of this fusion with the jaw bone, a dental implant functions like a tooth root and stimulates the jaw bone to keep it healthy. Dental implants prevent other teeth from shifting into the open space and the results look so natural, most people cannot tell the difference between an implant and a natural tooth.
- Removable Partial Denture or Bridge. Dentures or bridges are a quick way to replace missing teeth. False teeth are attached to metal framework, which rests on your existing teeth for support. Removable dentures or bridges must be taken out during meals and brushing, which some patients find inconvenient. Without a tooth root or implant post to stimulate the jaw, bone loss can occur in the area where teeth are missing. This may lead to costly treatments down the road to repair the jaw bone and restore facial structure.
- No Replacement. You do not have to replace a missing tooth with any type of restoration. However, not replacing a missing tooth leaves you susceptible to dental shifting, bite problems, and jaw bone loss. If you plan on replacing a missing tooth in the future, we can insert a bone graft into the empty tooth socket to preserve its size and shape and make future implant placement easier.
General Tooth Extractions in Waco, TX
Dr. Warren and Dr. Gatlin are board-certified oral surgeons who perform safe, quick, and comfortable tooth extractions in Waco, TX. If you are in need of an extraction procedure and want more information, we encourage you to contact Brazos Oral & Facial Surgery to schedule an appointment. Our friendly office staff and knowledgeable surgical team are happy to answer your questions and walk you through all of your treatment options.