There are several care options for broken or damaged teeth, but sometimes, a tooth can’t be saved and an extraction needs to be performed. Teeth may also need to be extracted in the case of overcrowding or wisdom tooth removal. While the goal is always to save a patient’s teeth, sometimes the best course of action for long-term dental health requires that a tooth be removed.
When Extraction Is the Only Way
- Damage from injury: If a tooth suffers a significant injury or trauma, like a blow, gums and other teeth may be impacted, as well. A damaged tooth can lead to infection or changes in alignment, affecting the patient’s bite. When the damage is severe, an extraction is the best option to avoid compromising healthy teeth or gums and prevent future issues.
- Tooth decay: This is the most common reason for tooth extraction. In order to save a tooth from extraction due to cavities, it’s critical to detect the decay early and treat it with a filling. This depends on the patient being consistent with their oral hygiene and regular check ups at the dentist’s office. In the early stages, the condition affects the enamel, but if left untreated, decay can reach through to the dentin. This leads to progressive deterioration until it reaches the root, causing an infection. If the patient doesn’t get the right treatment in time, the situation becomes severe and an extraction is the only solution, followed by a tooth restoration treatment.
- Wisdom teeth: These are the molars in the very back of your mouth. Healthy wisdom teeth that have fully erupted are positioned correctly, have a proper bite and alignment with opposite teeth, and are able to be cleaned as part of the dental hygiene routine. Many times, though, wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow or they don’t grow properly, causing damage to the oral structure. If they remain completely hidden within the gums, or only emerge partially, they get trapped within the jaw. This may cause infection or cysts, because they’re hard to clean. Another reason to remove wisdom teeth is that they can grow at various angles, even horizontally. And if they don’t have enough room to grow, nearby teeth get crowded, altering the whole structure of the oral cavity. Wisdom tooth removal is usually recommended at a younger age, because further damage can occur before the roots and bones of these teeth are not fully formed.
- Crowding: When there’s not enough room in the jaw for teeth to fit normally, they tend to overlap, twist or get pushed to the front or back. Teeth get crowded, making it hard to maintain a proper dental hygiene routine. This may eventually cause plaque and bacteria to build up, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. In this case, the dentist may suggest tooth extraction to create extra space for the remaining teeth to align properly.
Please call our office at (601) 859-2182 if you are in Canton, MS and the surrounding area and have questions or concerns about tooth extraction.