When Is A Tooth Extraction Necessary?

When Is A Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Posted by Steven H. Brenman, DMD on Mar 19 2019, 12:36 AM

As dentists, we are committed to helping our patients keep their teeth healthy and retain them for as long as possible. Nevertheless, there are times when a tooth extraction is the only viable option to eliminate any unpleasant symptoms that you have been experiencing, prevent any problems from spreading to other teeth and preserve your oral health for as long as possible. 

Situations That May Require A Dental Extraction

Although every effort will always be made to support ensure that you maintain your natural teeth, there are some situations that are more likely to result in you having a dental extraction. This includes the following:

An Impacted Wisdom Tooth

An impacted wisdom tooth is the most common reason for dental extraction. This is because wisdom teeth are particularly prone to problems owing to their late arrival in the mouth. By the time wisdom teeth erupt, there may not be enough space in the gums for them to fit, making it difficult for them to come through properly. Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely painful and prone to infection, and in many instances, it is better to remove them altogether. 

Severe Dental Decay

Decay occurs when the sugars in the foods that we consume interact with bacteria in our mouths to produce acids. These acids erode the natural enamel of the teeth, revealing the more sensitive, inner layers. When this happens, it can cause the patient to experience toothache which can range from mild aching to acute, agonizing pain. Some issues of dental decay can be resolved using treatments such as cavity fillings and porcelain crowns. However, if you have severe dental decay that affects an area that is too large for a cavity filling or crown to be successful, it may be necessary for you to undergo a dental extraction to alleviate your symptoms and prevent the decay from spreading.

Advanced Gum Disease

Gum disease is exceedingly common and primarily occurs as a result of poor oral health. When the teeth aren’t brushed properly, the bacteria that remains on them can spread onto the soft, sensitive tissue of the gums. When this happens, the bacteria cause irritation and inflammation which characterizes gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive condition, and whilst it can be reversed if identified early on, if treatment isn’t prompt, the bacteria could cause an infection that ravages your gum tissue and bone and causes your teeth to fall out or require extraction.

Tooth Fractures Below The Gum Line

Enamel may be the hardest substance in the human body, but it doesn’t mean that it can never become damaged. Teeth are well known to fracture – something that often happens due to them being used as tools, such as for opening bottles or tins – and in some cases, this damage can occur on the unseen part of the tooth, which falls below the gum line. You are also more susceptible to this type of damage if you have recently undergone a procedure such as a root canal or large filling since these weaken the teeth. As below-gum fractures are near impossible to repair, an extraction is nearly always recommended.

What Options Are Available After My Tooth Extraction?

A tooth extraction is always the final resort in any treatment. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can replace your missing tooth and restore your smile. These include a dental bridge, partial denture and dental implants. Your dentist will be happy to discuss these with you ahead of your extraction so that you have a plan in place for the future of your smile.  If you would like more information about dental extractions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

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