Pulling teeth does not have to feel like “pulling teeth”. Our ultimate goal at Hill Country Oral Surgery is to help you navigate this process on your terms. Our expert staff and trained oral surgeons will guide you through your options, clearly explaining each available choice and easing trepidations along the way.
We realize that you’re probably not excited about needing to have a tooth extracted, but we hope that we can make the experience better than expected, and help you get your oral care and dental health back on track.
Why Might I Need Dental Extractions?
In a perfect world, teeth would last a lifetime and would never require removal. Reality though is a much different story. Decay, disease, overcrowding, infection, and trauma can also cause dental problems that may require an extraction, or removal.
Although a tooth extraction is a sign of a problem in your mouth, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. And even if you have lapsed on your dental care, we don’t judge. Our goal is restoring a healthy smile. Tooth extraction is part of that process for many of our patients.
If you know you need an extraction, or if you’re unsure, contact us to schedule a consultation at our Austin, TX oral surgery practice.
What to Expect from a Tooth Extraction in Austin, TX
Removing a tooth can be a simple procedure or a very complex one. We can give you a better idea of what to expect once we’ve met with you, examined your mouth, and taken a few x-rays.
The tooth removal process isn’t painful. We use local anesthetic to numb the area. If you’re awake during the process, you’ll feel some pressure and movement, but very little, if any discomfort. Depending on your anxiety level, difficulty of extraction, and personal preference, we will make a decision together on what is the best anesthetic option for you. We provide local anesthesia, nitrous (laughing gas), oral sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation, and IV general anesthesia. Whatever anesthesia option you choose, we’ll monitor you carefully throughout the tooth extraction process.
Some teeth are easily removed with a simple tug while others require a long surgery. If your tooth is impacted, or not fully erupted, we’ll need to cut away bone and gum tissue surrounding the tooth before it can be removed. Some hard-to-remove or heavily damaged teeth are removed in pieces.
We can perform one single extraction, or multiple during the same visit. If you need to have multiple teeth pulled, we’ll create a treatment plan to space your treatments across one or more visits.
Timing for tooth removal varies. The procedure can take less than 30 minutes for a simple extraction or several hours for a more difficult one. This is an outpatient procedure, usually performed at our office, although we do have local hospital privileges for complex surgeries.
Recovery After Tooth Extraction
Most people who get single teeth extracted usually can get back to work the next day with some minor soreness. If it is at all possible to take the next day off of work, then that may be best.
If you’re having multiple teeth removed, or if your teeth are impacted, recovery take a little longer. We usually recommend 2-3 days of rest after tooth removal and avoiding physical activity for 5 days. We’ll let you know if you require more or less recovery time than this standard recommendation.
We always provide detailed recovery instructions after a tooth is pulled. Some of the advice we’ll provide may include:
- Pain Medication- Anesthetic usually wears off somewhere between 2-8 hours after surgery. Ideally, your pain medication will already be working at this point. Not all patients will require prescription pain medications. Many manage any discomfort with over-the-counter options, especially if the extraction was a simple one.
- Food- Patients can eat immediately after surgery, even if they are still numb. Start with clear liquids and if you tolerate them well, add in soft foods. Some of our favorite post-extraction foods include mashed potatoes, pasta, and soup. Do not use a straw for the first week as it can dislodge the clot, a painful complication.
- Hygiene- Good hygiene helps the mouth to heal and reduces infection. Rinse with salt water any time you eat or drink, other than water. Normal tooth brushing is encouraged, but avoid the areas where teeth were extracted.
- Physical Activity- Rest is recommended for the first couple of days. Limit more strenuous activities, like exercise or heavy lifting, for 5 days. Resuming physical activity too soon may slow recovery and cause recovery complications.
We’re here to help. Get in touch if you need us!
Get Your Smile Back- Tooth Replacement Options After Dental Extractions
Losing an adult tooth changes the mouth dramatically. Without tooth replacement, serious dental and health issues may occur. If you need a tooth removed, ask us about replacement options. We love restoring healthy smiles.
Your tooth replacement options in Austin, TX include:
- Traditional Dental Implant- Dental implants are placed into the jawbone, similarly to the root of a natural tooth. They restore both appearance and function. A traditional implant uses a medical grade titanium screw, paired with an artificial tooth. Once implanted, dental implants look and function like natural teeth.
- Metal-Free Dental Implant- Patients that need to avoid metal implants should consider our metal-free zirconia dental implants. This work similarly to a traditional implant, but are crafted from a strong zirconia material, instead of titanium.
- Bridge- A fixed bridge uses two healthy teeth or implants to support one or more artificial teeth. A bridge will require a little special care, but offers a long lasting tooth restoration solution.
We can also advise you about other options including full or partial dentures and full arch restoration using dental implants.
Are Other Procedures Necessary with Tooth Extraction?
When people have teeth extracted and are planning on having dental implants placed, it is often recommended to place a bone graft. The type of bone we use is medically treated bovine, or cow bone, that has been processed to be safely used as graft material. This graft material serves as a space maintainer to keep the gingival tissues out and allow the hard tissues to heal with the adequate shape and quantity to place a dental implant. Sometimes we can even place a dental implant at the same time as tooth extraction.
I Know I Need Tooth Extraction, but I Don’t Know Where to Start
Patients that need advanced dental work are often intimidated and unsure of the next steps to take. We invite you to our office for a consultation. We can’t recommend treatments or tell you how many tooth extractions you’ll need without an examination and x-rays. Once we have information, we’ll help you create a treatment plan.
If you need a tooth extraction in Austin, TX, come into Hill Country Oral Surgery. Call us at 512-327-7233 to schedule a consultation.