July 2, 2021
Once your permanent teeth grow in, they are meant to last a lifetime. However, life can take many zigs and zags, and you may end up needing to remove a tooth or even several teeth. If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, don’t worry! Dentists usually try to preserve natural teeth whenever possible, so they wouldn’t recommend extraction without good reason. Here are 5 scenarios that often call for tooth removal.
1. Severe Tooth Decay
If left untreated, tooth decay can extend to the center of a tooth and infect the inner pulp. In many cases, root canal therapy can help treat these types of infections while preserving the natural tooth. However, if the infection is severe, your dentist may recommend extraction in order to prevent the infection from spreading.
2. Periodontal Disease
The earliest stage of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis, can typically be treated with excellent oral hygiene at home and regular dental checkups. However, when periodontal disease is allowed to worsen, the bacteria can eat away at the bone and ligaments that support teeth. This can result in the loosening of a tooth, which may then need to be extracted.
3. Overcrowded Smile
Extraction is also recommended for patients who need orthodontic treatment but don’t have enough room in their mouth to realign their teeth. In these cases, an orthodontist may recommend removing one or several teeth to eliminate overcrowding.
4. Impacted Teeth
Wisdom teeth can sometimes get stuck beneath the gums and grow at an odd angle. When this happens, the teeth are considered “impacted”. Your dentist may recommend extraction to prevent impacted wisdom teeth from damaging adjacent molars. Removing an impacted tooth may also help lower the risk of infection and overcrowding.
5. Accidental Physical Damage
Accidents can happen when you least expect them. If your tooth is badly damaged from an unexpected collision, your dentist will first determine if it can be saved with a crown or other restorative treatment. However, if the damage is too severe, tooth extraction may be necessary.
What to Expect During an Extraction
There are two types of extraction procedures:
- Simple extractions are usually performed on visible teeth and are usually done under local anesthesia. Your dentist will use forceps to gently shift the tooth back and forth until it separates from the gums.
- Surgical extractions are performed when the tooth is stuck below the gums or has broken beneath the gumline. Your dentist may make an incision in your gums to reach the tooth and may split the tooth into pieces to make it easier to remove. Surgical extractions are usually performed under a general anesthesia.
Do any of these 5 reasons for extraction seem like they may apply to you? Although removing a tooth can seem scary, you can trust that your dentist will ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.
About the Author
Dr. Charito Mangaya-Estrada has over 25 years of experience providing comprehensive dental care, including extractions. She has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education and is proud to offer the latest in dental technology to her patients at Estrada Dentistry. To learn more about when extractions are necessary, visit the Estrada Dentistry website or call 757-548-1611.
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