Do I Need A Tooth Extracted?

Although your second set of teeth are supposed to last for a lifetime, there may be occasions when tooth extraction is necessary. It can come as a surprise and be a terrifying prospect, but we only ever recommend extraction as a last resort here at Alegria Dental Care. If there’s a way to save your tooth that won’t affect your dental health, we’ll find it.

When it’s a permanent tooth that needs to be pulled, it’s usually down to one of five common causes. Let’s look at what they are and why extraction is necessary in these cases.

Damage or decay from gum disease

We can resolve most dental decay through fillings and better hygiene, but sometimes the damage is so severe, the only option left is for us to extract the affected tooth. This is usually the case when the decay has reached the center of your tooth and is invading the pulp. This is painful and can lead to infection.

While a root canal procedure can help treat the infection and prevent the decay from spreading further, sometimes it’s already too advanced and the best treatment to prevent more pain and discomfort is to extract the tooth.

Extraction can reduce the risk of infection

Infection of your gums is the earliest sign of periodontal disease and can cause bleeding when you brush your teeth. If this isn’t caught early, the disease can progress into its more advanced stages when the infection spreads to your periodontal ligaments, alveolar bone, and other critical structures that support and surround your teeth and jaw.

Sometimes periodontal disease can cause your teeth to loosen as the infection spreads, and this can mean that a dental extraction is necessary.

Overcrowding of your teeth

This is a common problem for teenagers and young adults where your teeth may be perfectly healthy, but your jaw is too small to accommodate them all. When there isn’t enough space for your teeth to move and align properly, it can cause overcrowding and crooked teeth.

Extracting teeth can create sufficient space for the remaining teeth to settle properly and prevent misalignment issues. It’s often part of orthodontic treatment to ensure that when braces and aligners are used to correct issues, the lack of space won’t complicate the treatment and cause other problems further down the line.

Impacted wisdom teeth

A tooth impaction is when a tooth is blocked from coming out and is a common problem when it comes to wisdom teeth. Blocking can be caused by overcrowded teeth or gums not fully erupting to allow the wisdom tooth to drop into its natural position.

Sometimes the best course of action is to surgically extract the impacted wisdom tooth to prevent it from causing damage to your other teeth, reduce pain, and eliminate the risk of infection that impaction can cause. We’d only do this as a last resort after taking x-rays of the impacted wisdom teeth and assessing whether there are other treatments we can use to remedy the situation.

Trauma from an injury

Accidents can happen, and it’s not unusual for your teeth to be affected, whether it’s a car collision, sporting injury, or other incident. We always strive to preserve your teeth through crowns or veneers, but sometimes the damage caused is too severe and extraction is the only option to prevent damage to your adjacent teeth and jaw.

Whatever the reason you need a tooth extraction, it’s important that you have it as soon as possible to prevent making your dental issues worse. You can be sure that you’re in the safest hands with Dr. Stefanie Sunnes here at Alegria Dental Care.

Why Invisalign® Is a Great Choice for Straightening Teeth

Your confidence can suffer when your teeth are out of alignment. You may find yourself smiling with your lips closed or hiding your mouth behind your hand when you laugh. If you’re ready to smile proudly again, look no further than Invisalign® to help straighten your teeth.

Because she understands that you feel more confident when your smile is at its best, Stefanie Sunnes, DMD, provides Invisalign® at Alegria Dental Care in Houston, Texas. Learn how Invisalign® clear aligners improve your oral health and effectively straighten your teeth while causing little inconvenience to you in the process.

Benefits of straighter teeth

Straighter teeth can help you feel more confident and attractive, and when you share a beautiful smile with the world, you leave a memorable first impression. In fact, one study showed 48% of adults said they remember someone’s smile more than what that person said or wore. Crooked teeth, unfortunately, can cause others to perceive you as less appealing.

Properly aligned teeth not only look more attractive, but they also help your mouth stay healthy. When your teeth are crooked, they can cause numerous problems with your oral hygiene and overall health, including:

  • Tooth decay and loss
  • Gum disease
  • Problems chewing or speaking
  • Jaw issues

Genetics, injury, and thumbsucking are a few of the causes of crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth. Invisalign® is a great choice to straighten teeth because it can correct all of these issues and more.

Effectiveness of Invisalign®

Invisalign® uses customized, removable aligners to straighten teeth in stages. The Invisalign® system is highly effective at addressing numerous issues with your teeth and jaw. It can improve mouth irregularities such as:

  • Overbite, underbite, and open bite
  • Gapped teeth
  • Crowded teeth

It can also help you achieve generally straighter teeth if you have just a few, slight misalignments you want to address.

It’s common to fix tooth and jaw issues in the early teenage years, and braces seem like a rite of passage for preteens. Invisalign® is an excellent choice for tooth alignment because it provides an option that lets you avoid a mouth full of metal, and it works effectively no matter your age, as long as your teeth are healthy.

Clear aligners are becoming more popular, but they’re not all the same. Invisalign’s® aligners use SmartTrack® material, which helps guarantee their comfort and effectiveness. The aligners fit precisely to your teeth to ensure the proper movement of your teeth as they straighten.

Depending on your treatment plan, it may take up to 15 months or longer to reach your goal; however, you start to notice the effects of Invisalign® after a month or two. With each new set of aligners, your teeth look noticeably closer to your new, beautiful smile.

Easy, convenient treatment

With Invisalign®, you can straighten your teeth with minimal inconvenience to your appearance and lifestyle. You wear your aligners for at least 20-22 hours per day but don’t need to worry about unsightly wire braces or brackets. You simply remove the aligners when you eat and brush your teeth, and, unlike with braces, you don’t have to avoid certain foods like popcorn.

When you come for your first appointment, Dr. Sunnes creates a 3D scan of your teeth — no uncomfortable molds — and the Invisalign® system plans your treatment and even shows you your projected results. Dr. Sunnes meets with you again when your aligners arrive at her office so she can check their fit and answer any questions you still have. You advance to a new set of aligners every week or two, and Dr. Sunnes schedules regular checkups to monitor your progress.

That’s it. No complex tightening of wires, no lengthy appointments, and no intrusion on your lifestyle. If you think Invisalign® could be the right choice for straightening your teeth, don’t wait to call the Alegria Dental Care office or book an appointment online.

Tips For Speeding Recovery after Undergoing a Tooth Extraction

When a tooth extraction interrupts your life, of course you want to heal as quickly as possible. At Alegria Dental Care, we want you to know how to speed up the recovery process so you can get back to your normal life.

Dr. Sunnes recommends following these six tips to shorten the recovery time after undergoing a tooth extraction.

1. Take it easy for at least two days

Plan to take at least two days off from work. You should spend the first day relaxing as much as possible. Stay in bed if you can, but prop your head up to prevent excessive bleeding.

During the second 24 hours, limit your activity as much as possible.

Your extraction site needs time to heal, so give it the opportunity it deserves.

2. Keep the gauze in place over your extraction site

After getting your tooth extracted, Dr. Sunnes typically puts a piece of gauze over the extraction site. The gauze helps minimize bleeding so a clot can form.

You should only touch the gauze when it’s soaked with blood and you need to replace it. Otherwise, you should leave the gauze alone to help a clot form.

3. Use ice packs and take ibuprofen to reduce swelling

If your face swells after your tooth extraction, you can use an ice pack to relieve the pain. Apply an ice pack for about 10 minutes at a time. You can also take ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain. You should not, however, take aspirin.

4. Stick to soft foods for a few days

During the first couple of days after your surgery, you should limit your food choices to liquids like water, soups, and shakes. Eating food that requires chewing could disturb the extraction site or knock the blood clot loose.

Once your mouth starts to recover, you can eat soft foods like mashed potatoes and pudding. Don’t try to eat solid foods, though, until your extraction site has healed.

5. Don’t suck on anything (especially cigarettes)

Sucking on a straw, candy, or anything else can dislodge your blood clot. If the blood clot comes loose, it could add a day or more to your recovery time.

Most importantly, don’t smoke cigarettes or use e-cigs. The smoke can slow healing and increase your risk of dry socket, an infection that can cause considerable pain for up to a week — even with treatment.

6. Take all of your antibiotics

If Dr. Sunnes prescribes antibiotics after your tooth extraction, follow her instructions and take all of the medications. You may feel completely healed before you’ve finished the supply, but finish up the medication unless she advises you differently.

Not taking all of your antibiotics could put you at risk of a painful and difficult-to-treat infection, adding time and misery to your recovery.

Make an appointment at Alegria Dental Care if you experience problems

Following these tips add to your chances of the speediest recovery possible after your tooth extraction.  But if you feel like you’re not healing according to schedule, come back to Algeria Dental Care so Dr. Sunnes can look at your progress. She may be able to clean the extraction site to promote healing or give you a prescription medication that dulls the pain.

Contact Dr. Sunnes by sending us a message on our secure website. You can also call our office in Houston at 281-393-0881. We’ll find a convenient time for you to come in and get your extraction site looked at.

Be Proud of Your Smile This Year With New Veneers

A new year is an opportunity for a new and improved you.  Why not start with your smile? After all, your smile tells people a lot about you. A dazzling smile is very becoming. It tells the world you’re brimming with confidence and ready to live your life to the fullest.

Damaged teeth can rob you of that confidence. You feel self-conscious, hide behind your hand, and try not to show your teeth. If broken, discolored, and slightly crooked teeth are holding you back, you owe it to yourself to consider changing the appearance of your smile with dental veneers.

How veneers work

When you begin the process of improving your smile at Alegria Dental Care, Dr. Stefanie Sunnes talks with you about your expectations and desired outcome, as well as any concerns you may have. Together, you and Dr. Sunnes choose the most natural color for your new veneers.

Dr. Sunnes cleans your teeth and removes some of the enamel so that the veneers adhere thoroughly. An impression of your teeth is sent to the lab, where your new veneers are made. You’ll be fitted with temporary veneers to protect your teeth, now enamel-free, until your next visit.

Your new, permanent veneers are attached at a subsequent appointment. Dr. Sunnes ensures the proper fit and appearance of your veneers, answers any questions you may have, and instructs you on the care of your beautiful new smile.

Best candidates for veneers

If your teeth are damaged by trauma or decay, you’ll benefit from dental veneers. New veneers also improve your smile if your teeth are discolored by certain medications, or deeply stained. If you have gaps between your teeth, minor overcrowding, or even some bite-related issues, veneers can help.

Advantages of veneers

Your beautiful new veneers keep the structure of your natural teeth. This results in a completely natural-looking smile, without the discomfort sometimes associated with bridgework and dentures.

Veneers are great for closing gaps between your teeth, and can even provide a straighter, more even appearance. Your dazzling new veneers are also fairly stain-resistant and they strengthen the resiliency of your natural teeth.

Although you typically require a few appointments to complete your veneers, the process involves minimal discomfort and very little downtime.

Caring for your new veneers

Another advantage of enhancing your smile with dental veneers is they encourage better dental care habits. Many patients say their attention to oral hygiene has improved greatly since getting veneers. Such careful attention prevents decay, keeps your gums healthy, and gives you even more reason to smile.

Caring for your veneers is easy. There’s no special care, beyond the care you’d normally give your natural teeth. Dr. Sunnes may suggest a night guard if you’re prone to grinding your teeth at night. You’ll also want to ensure your veneers are performing as they should by keeping your twice-yearly dental checkups at Alegria Dental Care.

Take pride in your beautiful new smile

Get the look you’ve long desired with new veneers for the new year. At Alegria Dental Care, we take pride in the smiles we help put on our patients’ faces. Dr. Stefanie Sunnes uses cutting-edge treatments to perfect even the most damaged teeth. Dr. Sunnes and the team at Alegria Dental Care can help you realize your New Year’s goal of a perfect and dazzling new smile with dental veneers. Contact Alegria Dental Care today and let’s get started on your beautiful new smile.

Holiday Parties: A Great Reason To Have Your Teeth Professionally Whitened

The end of year winter holidays are a great time for social occasions and catching up with family and friends. There’s food and drink to be had, celebrations to organize, and gift giving for many people. Of course, it’s also a time when some people can be reminded that they may not feel so great about themselves, especially their smiles.

What’s in a smile?

Did you know that numerous studies have been done on the relationship between our smile and how successful and contented we are in life? Not only this, but a 2010 study was done on the photographs of old baseball players where the width of their smiles was measured. Those with the widest smile tended to live longer on average than those who smiled only slightly or not at all!

In some ways, this shouldn’t be surprising because we are a social species after all. We use our smiles to indicate many things, including happiness, social engagement, and flirting. It has even been found that we smile even when we’re in the womb, so it is a completely natural behavior that crosses cultures around the world.

Knowing all of this, there’s a definite link between the way that we feel about ourselves and how often we smile. People who don’t feel so good about themselves tend not to smile quite so much. Sadly, this can make them feel quite alienated even during the holiday season.

The good news is that a professional teeth whitening service can lift your spirits. If you’re not happy with your teeth, we can help you here at Kenosha Breeze Family Dental. I’m Dr. Dennis Carlile, and I can talk to you about your teeth and how we can help you regain your self-confidence.

Here’s why the holidays are a great reason to have your teeth professionally whitened:


The holiday period is filled with parties and social gatherings. For anyone who might not feel so great about their teeth, smiling may not be much of a priority. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and even depression. Do you really want to miss out on those holiday parties and good times just because your smile isn’t white and bright?

Smiling has been proven to lead to more self-confidence and improved self-image. It also makes an impact on other people, as they perceive a person to be more attractive and engaging when the wide smiles come easily.

Time for a new beginning

In many ways, the winter holidays are about renewal and making solid promises about the new year. A professional teeth whitening is a great way to start fresh with a whole new outlook on life. With your brand new smile, you can build your confidence and face the new year with new ideas.

Catching up with family

Seeing family during the holiday season can be a lot of fun, but wouldn’t it be great to impress family members you haven’t seen for a while with a bright and white smile? It’s all part of showing a brand new side to yourself. A big smile can really signal that you’re living a happy and healthy life.

Happy snaps

Let’s face it, cameras are everywhere these days and they are inevitably used around holiday time by family and friends. Wouldn’t it be great to look your best in all those photos about to be posted on social media platforms?

Let us help you feel your best

Our smiles say a lot about us and it’s a sad fact that many people are not happy with the way their teeth look. Whether teeth are discolored and stained because of hereditary factors, medication, a health condition, or due to excessive smoking, everyone deserves to feel good about themselves.


Don’t bother buying inferior teeth whiteners off the shelf at your local supermarket. If you want the job done right so you can feel good about your smile, let us help you here at Kenosha Breeze Family Dental. Book an appointment today using our simple online booking function.