+*Teeth are stronger than you might think. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest compound in the human body, even harder than bone. Your teeth can last a lifetime, but not always. Despite their strength, teeth are still vulnerable to both damage and decay. In many cases, your dentist can restore a damaged or decayed tooth using a variety of dental restorations. In other cases, however, having a tooth extraction may actually be the best option for your oral health.
A tooth extraction is when a dentist removes one or more teeth, usually to relieve pain caused by a dental condition. While many dental conditions can be successfully treated either with routine home care or treatment at your dentist’s office, some situations are only treatable with extractions. The overall goal is for your dentist to preserve your oral health and sometimes extractions are the way to achieve this goal.
There are many reasons why tooth extractions may be necessary. In this blog post we discuss a few of the most common reasons why tooth extractions are necessary:
One of the most common reasons for tooth extractions is severe tooth decay. Although most cases of tooth decay can be treated with restorative treatments like fillings or crowns, severe decay may require another approach. This is because severe tooth decay creates an infection inside of the tooth. This infection needs to be removed since it does not heal on its own. Root canal therapy is commonly used to remove the infection and preserve the tooth. However, there are cases where the infection may have already spread to the roots, or where a root canal has failed, that require a tooth extraction to prevent the infection from continuing to spread.
The second reason is gum disease, which can cause teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can advance into periodontitis when not treated. Periodontitis is the top cause of tooth loss in adults since it causes the supporting structures around the tooth to deteriorate. Without these structures to hold the tooth in place, it becomes loose and will usually require extraction to prevent further damage.
There are also cases where a person has too little space in their mouth for all of their teeth to fit comfortably. Overcrowding can cause the teeth to overlap or become crooked. In some cases, it can also cause the erupting teeth to become impacted, or trapped below the gums. This is commonly seen with the third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth. In these cases, extraction is usually recommended to prevent damage to the surrounding teeth, as well as gum infections from impaction.
Finally, there are cases where a tooth may be so damaged that it cannot be effectively restored. One example of this is if the visible portion of the tooth completely breaks off and leaves only the roots behind. In these cases, the entire tooth is usually extracted so that a dental prosthesis can be placed.
The above are just a few of the most common reasons why tooth extractions may be necessary. If you have any questions about your specific situation, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists or dental hygienists for more information. We’re always happy to help!