Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason involves a tooth that is too badly damaged from trauma or decay to be repaired with a root canal or other measures. Other reasons can include extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth, crowding, infection, risk of infection, or gum disease.

You can expect your extraction visit to last anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the condition of the tooth and the number of teeth being extracted.

What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction?

Before pulling the tooth, a local anesthetic will be injected to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. Next Dr. Cantu may use an instrument called an elevator to lift the tooth and loosen ligaments and gum tissue around the base of the tooth. Using forceps, the tooth is grasped tightly and is gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in the gum tissue. Occasionally, a stubborn tooth will resist the dentist’s soft tug, refusing to come out. In these and more complex cases, a hard-to-pull tooth can be removed in pieces.

Patients often feel slight pressure as Dr. Cantu works to extract the tooth, but you will not feel any pain. 

Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot will need to form in the socket. Gauze will be packed into the socket to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes it is necessary to place a few stitches (usually self-dissolving) to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

Recovery depends on the type of extraction and your body’s response to the procedure. Some discomfort and minor swelling may be present for a few days after the appointment. 

After You’ve Had a Tooth Pulled

Following an extraction, your dentist will send you home to recover. This period typically takes a few days. You will be given a detailed list of post-operative instructions after your visit is complete.

Wisdom Teeth Extractions 

The Basics of Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are our final set of four molars. They are a natural part of our mouths. However, they come in much later than the rest of our teeth. You’ll have all of your adult teeth by the age of 13, but wisdom teeth usually don’t come in until the ages of 17-25.

But while wisdom teeth are a natural part of our mouths, many people do not have enough room in their mouths to accommodate a set of 4 more large rear molars. This is particularly true of patients who have had orthodontic work to correct their smiles.

Because of this, wisdom teeth can often cause a lot of dental complications when they start to come in. It’s common for one or more of your wisdom teeth to become “impacted” and not emerge completely from the gums. This can increase your risk of a tooth infection, and cause pain and discomfort.

More rarely, wisdom teeth can grow in crooked or sideways, damaging your other teeth. If you don’t have enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to grow in properly, or your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or discomfort, it is usually a good idea to simply have them removed.

How Do I Know If I Need a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth extractions are not always necessary. If you have enough room in your mouth and your wisdom teeth erupt properly, it’s likely that you can keep them with no negative effects on your oral health. However, there are some signs that you may want to look out for if you think your wisdom teeth may not be erupting properly.

You may feel pain and sensitivity in one or more of your rear teeth, or notice inflammation of the gums near the wisdom teeth. This can indicate the beginning of a tooth infection. You may also begin to feel pain and stiffness in your jaw, which is a sure sign of a problem.

If you feel any kind of pain or discomfort in your rear teeth, Dr. Cantu can assess your mouth, examine your wisdom teeth, and determine if they need to be extracted.

What Can I Expect from Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

For fully-erupted wisdom teeth, the process is known as a basic extraction. Dr. Cantu will clean and numb your mouth. Then, he’ll use special dental tools to loosen the tooth in its socket and pull it out. The process takes only about 5 minutes.

For impacted teeth, the process is a bit more complex. Dr. Mark Cantu will need to make an incision into your gum, cut the tooth into pieces, and remove it piece-by-piece. Once the entire tooth structure has been extracted, the area will be disinfected, cleaned, and sewn shut, completing the procedure.


Dr. Mark J. Cantu, DDS
7101 W. Highway 71, Suite A-3
Austin, TX 78735

Hablamos Espanol


Phone: 512-551-5400
Fax: 512-551-5408

Most PPO Dental Insurance Accepted

Office Hours

Monday - Treatment Appt. Only
8 AM - 4 PM
Tuesday – Friday
7:30 AM – 3 PM

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