No one wants to get a tooth pulled. No dentist wants to pull a tooth. The goal is always to retain your natural teeth and fix them whenever possible, so the root system is not lost and you don’t have a hole in your smile. Sometimes, however, tooth extraction is unavoidable and, when that is the case, this procedure can immediately eliminate pain and discomfort and give you a healthier smile.
Here are just five reasons tooth extraction may be necessary:
1. Severe Tooth Decay
Tooth decay that goes unaddressed can advance so dramatically that a tooth-colored filling isn’t enough to correct it and even root canal therapy will not cure the pain you’re experiencing. In cases like this, extraction is necessary to eliminate decay, pain, and save neighboring teeth.
2. Broken Tooth Root
There are many possible causes for a broken tooth root, such as severe teeth grinding, large fillings, or a blow to the mouth in an accident, sporting match, or fistfight. In some cases, root canal therapy can correct the problem but when the tooth has been so weakened and compromised that even this solution will not work, extraction is necessary.
3. Advanced Gum Disease
In the most advanced stages of gum disease teeth become loose in their sockets. When the gum is so infected that it begins to pull away from the tooth, the innerworkings of your teeth will be exposed, making them susceptible to even greater infection, and the teeth will also be loose. Some people with gum disease have teeth that fall out but, if you are undergoing treatment for gum disease, extraction may be necessary.
4. Impacted Wisdom Tooth
The case of an impacted wisdom tooth is one time you absolutely want to have your tooth extracted. Often, these teeth will erupt only partially. They are typically sideways or at an angle because there simply isn’t enough room in the mouth for them. An impacted wisdom tooth not only causes pain, it can damage alignment and nearby teeth.
5. Infection or Abscess
Sometimes a tooth can develop a pocket of pus around it caused by an infection. This can be the result of an untreated cavity, old dental work, or an injury. The abscess must be drained, antibiotics may be needed, and sometimes a root canal is required. When these therapies are not enough to address the problem, tooth extraction is necessary.
6. Tooth Fracture
When tooth enamel suffers a break or crack, it can sometimes extend into the pulp of the tooth. This problem, when taken care of immediately, can often be corrected with root canal therapy and a porcelain crown to prevent the crack from spreading and causing further damage and discomfort. If the crack extends below the gumline, however, it is usually not treatable and the tooth cannot be saved.
After the Tooth Extraction
Whatever trauma your a tooth endures, your dentist will do everything possible to save the tooth before turning to extraction. The goal is always to keep your natural teeth in your mouth so your jawbone can remain stimulated and everything works together as it was meant to.
Remember, though, that extraction can sometimes be unavoidable, and it isn’t the end of the world if you need a tooth pulled. There are several excellent ways to replace that missing tooth, including dental implants, dentures, and dental bridges.