When Tooth Extraction Is Necessary

By brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day and scheduling routine exams at Lifetime Dental Care, you’ll stay on top of your oral health. Proactive dental hygiene also ensures you preserve as many of your natural teeth as possible, reducing the need for fillings, crowns, and the permanent loss of teeth.

Experienced dentist, W. Garry Waldrop, DDS, provides comprehensive dental care and resources to make it easier to preserve the health of your teeth. However, when a damaged tooth can’t be saved and you need a tooth extraction, Dr. Waldrop can help.

Why you might need a tooth extraction

There are a number of reasons a tooth must be extracted instead of being saved. Dr. Waldrop may suggest a tooth extraction to treat:

Decay or trauma

A tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Decayed teeth can be the result of not brushing as often or as well as you should. A damaged tooth can occur from trauma to your mouth or gum disease.


In some cases, a damaged tooth causes an infection in the surrounding tissue. If the infection can’t be treated with medication or a root canal, you may need to have the tooth extracted.


There are also instances when Dr. Waldrop may recommend a tooth extraction for teeth that aren’t decayed or damaged. He may need to remove one or more teeth if they crowd your mouth and cause you discomfort or pain.

In some cases where braces are needed to straighten teeth and improve your oral health, you may need to have one or more teeth removed to give your other teeth the room they need to shift in the right direction.

Underlying medical reasons

Tooth extractions are often a part of the preparation process for organ transplants or chemotherapy if existing teeth have decay. Extraction is done as a preventative measure to reduce risks for infection if the surgery may compromise a person’s immune system.

Understanding the extraction process

When you have a damaged or decayed tooth that can’t be saved with other treatments, Dr. Waldrop determines what type of tooth extraction you need during a dental evaluation. He may choose either a simple or surgical extraction depending on the location of the tooth and the extent of damage.

Simple tooth extraction

A simple tooth extraction is the procedure most used for teeth that have erupted through your gums and are visible.

Dr. Waldrop provides a local anesthetic to numb the extraction area before using specialized tools to lift the tooth up and out of your gum. The in-office procedure is relatively quick, and the anesthetic keeps you comfortable.

Surgical tooth extraction

A surgical extraction is used when you have a tooth that hasn’t erupted through your gum or is impacted. Through an incision in your gum, Dr. Waldrop removes the tooth and may need to take out additional bone or tissue surrounding the extracted tooth.

Dr. Waldrop offers several types of sedation, including local, intravenous (IV), or general anesthesia to keep you free of pain and comfortable throughout the surgery.

Getting back to life after a tooth extraction

Whether you have a simple or surgical tooth extraction, you can expect to have soreness in the extraction area for a few days. The team at Lifetime Dental Care provides you with after-care instructions to prevent infections and manage any discomfort.

Initially, you may need to eat soft foods and avoid using straws to protect the extraction site as it heals. During a follow-up visit, Dr. Waldrop assesses your healing process and removes any sutures, if necessary. He also suggests when it’s safe for you to return to your regular diet and brushing routine.

If you have persistent tooth pain or a severely damaged tooth that needs extraction, don’t delay calling Lifetime Dental Care in Katy, Texas, for an evaluation. You can also book an appointment through our online feature.

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