With improved technology in dentistry, dentists have many restorative and cosmetic options to remedy a damaged tooth’s health, function, and appearance. Still, there are instances when tooth extraction may be the best option for your oral health.
The dentist will only recommend tooth extractions when a tooth is beyond saving, or it is causing other dental problems. For instance, removing the tooth is the best remedy if you have a severely decayed tooth that you can’t save with a filling, root canal therapy, or dental crown.
Below are common reasons why a dentist might recommend tooth extractions:
Severe dental trauma
Dental trauma during falls, accidents, or eating can cause your teeth to chip or break. If the tooth is only partially damaged, you can save it with restorative treatments like dental fillings, bonding, or crowns. However, if the tooth is damaged enough not to support a dental crown or other restoration procedures, it’s best to extract it and replace it with a dental implant or a bridge.
Severe tooth decay
Poor dental hygiene, high acidity, and lack of dental check-ups and cleanings can increase your risk of tooth decay. Usually, decay happens when the tooth’s enamel is compromised, allowing the harmful bacteria in the mouth to attack the tooth’s pulp and cause decay.
Fortunately, your dentist can use root canal therapy, a dental filling, or a crown to save your tooth. If the tooth isn’t treated promptly, the infection or decay spreads further, destroying most of the tooth’s structure. Since a severely decayed tooth can’t adequately support a dental restoration, they are better removed.
Impacted wisdom tooth
If there isn’t enough room for a wisdom tooth to erupt or develop normally, the tooth is said to be impacted. As a result, such a tooth can cause jaw pain, earaches, headaches, damage to the nearby teeth, and more vulnerability to infections. A surgical extraction is needed to remove an impacted tooth to provide relief from the discomfort and prevent further risks.
A loose tooth
Teeth can become loose due to dental trauma, tooth decay, or receding gums. If your tooth is excessively loose, it can cause difficulties chewing, brushing, and talking. It can also expose you to infections and disturb the harmony of the adjacent teeth. Such a tooth should be extracted to eliminate these problems.
Advanced gum disease
Advanced periodontal disease is a common factor behind tooth loss. Severe gum disease can cause the gum to recede, creating a gap between the teeth and gums. The infection can spread further and cause damage to the surrounding connective tissues and jawbone, affecting the tooth’s roots and causing decay. Tooth extraction may be necessary to stop and eliminate the infection.
If you have a small jaw that can’t adequately accommodate all your teeth, your teeth may appear overcrowded or misaligned. This can cause jaw problems, poor bite, poor aesthetics, discomfort, and make you susceptible to infections. Tooth extraction may be necessary to eliminate overcrowding and give way for orthodontic treatments like traditional braces or Invisalign.
A tooth can be removed in two ways: simple or surgical.
Simple extraction. This extraction is used when a tooth is visible and accessible above the gum line. The dentist will numb the extraction area and use a pair of forceps to extract the tooth from the socket.
Surgical extraction. This extraction is used if a tooth is trapped below the gum line. The dentist makes an incision through the gums and bone to access the tooth.
A surgical extraction is frequently used to remove an impacted wisdom tooth.
Tips for managing extraction recovery
After the tooth extraction, use the following tips to promote faster healing and recovery: