Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but sometimes circumstances result in the need for an extraction. With most dental treatment options, saving the tooth is the goal, but what are the occasions when extractions cannot be avoided?
If you have excessive crowding in your mouth and are considering orthodontia, the dentist may recommend having one or more teeth pulled to make room for the rest of your teeth during the straightening process. This is often the case when your wisdom teeth (or third molars) are growing in. These third molars are the last set of teeth to come in, and usually, there is not enough room for them. If teeth are crooked or misaligned as they are erupting, they can become impacted and cause pain and infection.
Preventing More Serious Problems
Sometimes due to decay or trauma, your tooth simply cannot be saved. If you have a very large cavity that is destroying too much of the tooth’s structure, it will be too weak to repair. In the case of a crack or fracture, the damage may extend below the gum line, and it might not be repairable. Extensive infections can be especially difficult, and for those patients who have compromised immune systems, a dentist will often recommend an extraction as the best way to completely remove the infection.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) can weaken the bones and gums, which support your teeth. When this happens, the teeth become loose over time and require extraction.
How a Tooth is Extracted
With the help of X-rays, your dentist can determine the best way to remove the tooth. Typically, there are two types of extractions:
- A simple extraction is used if the tooth is visible in your mouth. The dentist will use a tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth and then extracts the tooth with forceps. Normally it only requires a local anesthetic.
- Surgical extraction is needed when the tooth is below the gum line, and it is a more complicated procedure. This requires the dentist to make a small incision in the gum to reach the tooth. A local anesthetic or general anesthesia can be used.
Sometimes having a tooth extracted is the best option for your overall oral health. At Dental Solutions, PA in Odessa, Dr. Diais, and Dr. Dayeh can determine if extraction is needed and discuss the choices you have for the replacement of the extracted tooth. Contact us today for a comprehensive evaluation.