What is a tooth extraction?

A simple tooth extraction involves removing a tooth that has erupted through the gums completely and is visible in the mouth. Surgical extraction consists of removing teeth that have either not erupted or have erupted only partially. Dr. Truong performs both simple and surgical tooth extractions in her Richardson and Dallas offices. For surgical extractions, such as for impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon.

When is a tooth extraction necessary?

Teeth may need removal for a number of reasons. While we take great measures to save an extremely decayed or infected tooth, some patients are not good candidates for root canal procedures. Other times, extraction is the best option to help treat an infection and prevent it from spreading. Teeth that are loose due to advanced periodontal disease, as well as teeth that are fractured beneath the gum line, are also good candidates for extraction.

What are the aftercare instructions for a tooth extraction?

After your extraction, your dentist will ask you to bite on a piece of gauze to help control bleeding. After about an hour, a blood clot will form in the socket. Disturbing the blood clot can compromise the healing process, so don’t do anything that will dislodge it, such as spitting, sucking on a straw, or smoking, within the first 24 hours. Dr. Truong will give you specific instructions for aftercare, but generally speaking, you should only consume a soft diet and avoid brushing your teeth for the first day to keep the clot intact. You may place an ice pack on your cheek near the extraction site to prevent swelling, and be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for taking pain medications. After the site has completely healed, you should return to our Dallas or Richardson dental office for a consultation on replacing your missing tooth with a bridgepartial denture, or dental implant restoration.

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