Why Would I Need a Tooth Extracted?

Why Would I Need a Tooth Extracted?

About 120 million men and women in the United States are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. While some of those teeth may have been lost due to trauma, many are “intentionally” missing, extracted in an effort to improve overall oral health. 

At his practice in Waterford, Michigan, Marvin Taylor, DDS, and the team at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center understand the necessity for tooth extraction. Here’s when he might recommend an extraction for your oral health needs.

When tooth extraction is the best choice

It’s true that dentists do all they can to preserve natural teeth. But there are some times when extraction is by far the best option. 

Of course, before any extraction is recommended, Dr. Taylor performs a thorough exam along with X-rays to determine if removing the tooth is the best option. Here are six reasons why he might recommend an extraction.

Overcrowding

Mouth size can vary a lot from one person to another. If you don’t have enough room in your jaw for all your adult teeth, you can wind up with a lot of problems, ranging from increased decay to impaction to chronic jaw pain and headaches. 

In this case, extraction removes one or more teeth (usually molars) to make more room in your jaw. This type of extraction often occurs before orthodontic correction, but it can be done on its own, too.

Deep decay

Some types of tooth decay can be treated with fillings or even root canal therapy. But very deep decay — including decay that reaches down into the tooth roots and jaw bone — may be better treated with an extraction, especially if a lot of the tooth structure is affected.

Structural damage

Often, a broken tooth can be rebuilt using a crown or other restoration. But if you have a tooth that’s badly fractured or a tooth that’s broken off below the gumline, Dr. Taylor may recommend extraction to remove the remaining tooth structure so it can be replaced with an implant or bridge.

Impaction

An impacted tooth is a tooth that gets trapped under a neighboring tooth, preventing it from emerging through the gum. Some impacted teeth are completely hidden under the gum, while others are partially impacted, with only a part of the tooth breaking through the gum. Impaction frequently affects wisdom teeth when they try to emerge.

Impacted teeth can threaten the health of the neighboring tooth, and they’re also more prone to decay and infection. These teeth need to be removed to prevent those complications in the future. 

Advanced gum disease and infection

Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. If you have advanced gum disease (and loose or badly infected teeth as a result), extraction paves the way for implants or dentures to restore your bite balance and improve your oral health.

Teeth that are malpositioned

Sometimes teeth come in sideways or they erupt in areas outside of the normal alignment. Often, these teeth can be moved using orthodontic techniques. But sometimes, extraction is a better option, especially if you have a lot of overcrowding already.

The extraction process

Most extractions are “simple,” meaning they can be performed using a local anesthetic with or without relaxing sedatives. During these extractions, the tooth isn’t really pulled — it’s lifted out of the socket using a tool called an elevator. Depending on the size of the tooth opening, we may use a few stitches to close the site while it heals.

For more complex extractions, Dr. Taylor may refer you to an oral surgeon. Complex extractions that require temporary removal of some of the jaw bone are usually performed under deep sedation or anesthesia, allowing you to “sleep” through the procedure without feeling any pain.

If you have tooth or jaw pain or other symptoms, don’t ignore it. Delaying treatment can result in more serious problems — and more costly care. To get the custom treatment you need for optimal oral health, call or book an appointment online today.

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