Yes, teeth are made to last a lifetime. However, that can’t always be the case. Sometimes the concepts of extraction and restorative dentistry intersect. It may not seem logical but in some cases, tooth extraction is the best treatment method for improving the health of your whole mouth.
At Mai Dentistry, we believe in recommending the right treatment for the right patient. In many cases, Dr. Mai can perform a simple tooth extraction in the office. However, if a surgical or complex extraction is necessary, Dr. Mai refers patients to a reputable maxillofacial (oral) surgeon. We also proudly partner with Dr. Mark Waggoner, a recognized expert in IV sedation and dental anesthesiology who regularly performs wisdom teeth extractions at our office.
When to Extract
There are particular times when tooth extraction is necessary, including:
- When teeth are loose due to advanced gum disease
- When teeth are prone to infection in patients with compromised immune systems
- To maintain proper alignment in the dental arch, or to make way for tooth movement during orthodontic therapy
- When a filling, crown, or root canal therapy can’t save a badly-decayed tooth
Our third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, are the last adult teeth to erupt in our late teens/early twenties. They usually don’t cause problems, but sometimes wisdom teeth come in crooked or stay impacted in the jaws and underneath the gums. Extracting wisdom teeth addresses many oral health issues, such as an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, crowding, tissue damage, and potential infection.
Care After an Extraction
Tooth extractions have a relatively short recovery period, roughly a week. You can ensure a more successful recovery with these tips:
- Take the painkillers or antibiotics prescribed to you, following directions on the bottle.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water after eating during the first twenty-four hours after the extraction.
- Change gauze pads before they become blood-soaked.
- Get plenty of rest and do not perform any heavy or strenuous exercising.
- Try not to probe the area with your tongue.
- Don’t smoke! Nicotine delays healing.
- Eat soft foods like pudding, gelatin, and soup, gradually working up to solid foods.
- Continue to brush and floss as you normally would, but gently.
- Stay away from mouthwash and alcohol while your mouth is healing.
Safe and Comfortable Dental Extractions
We can use extractions to address wisdom teeth and remove infected/seriously damaged teeth, preserving the health of your smile. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in both Spanish and Vietnamese. To learn more, or to schedule your next appointment, call our Garland, TX office today at (972) 530-0552.