5 Reasons People Need Tooth Extractions
When your Edmonton dentist tells you that you need a tooth removed, you might wonder why that procedure is the best option. After all, your permanent teeth are permanent for a reason. They help you chew your food, talk, and put on a confident smile.
However, sometimes dentists need to remove adults' permanent teeth or, less often, kids' baby teeth. Here are five reasons a dentist might recommend a tooth extraction.
1. You have impacted wisdom teeth.
One of the most common tooth extraction procedures is wisdom tooth removal. Wisdom teeth, also known as 3rd molars, are the four big teeth found at the very back of your mouth, but you might never use them to chew. Instead, a dentist might recommend that you have them extracted before they grow in.
Wisdom teeth often do not have enough room to grow in properly. Instead, they become stuck, or impacted, as they start to emerge through the gums. This can cause problems, such as infections, or damage to teeth near the wisdom teeth. Dentists recommend wisdom tooth extraction to preserve the other teeth.
Sometimes small jaw size makes wisdom tooth extraction necessary. If the other teeth take up most of the space available, wisdom teeth have nowhere to grow in. In this case, a dentist or oral surgeon will take them out.
Although the removal of wisdom teeth removal is common, that does not automatically mean you will have to undergo this surgery. Some people simply never develop wisdom teeth. In other people, they grow into the mouth without any issues.
As well, in some cases, the wisdom teeth never even try to grow in. Sometimes these wisdom teeth can stay where they are because they are unlikely to interfere with the other teeth. However, a dentist might still recommend extraction to avoid problems in the future.
2. Your tooth experienced severe trauma.
Unfortunately, our teeth sometimes get jostled by unexpected falls, sudden impacts, sports injuries, or other situations. After this trauma, a tooth might get loose or damaged. Your dentist will do everything they can to save the tooth. However, if the trauma is too severe, or if a tooth presents with fractures, the damage may prove irreparable. In such a case, your Edmonton dentist will find that extraction is the best option to take.
Traumatized teeth can become candidates for extraction right after the injury or several years after it occurred. For example, trauma might knock a child's newly grown in permanent tooth completely out of its socket. Quickly replanting the tooth may help the tooth stay in its socket for a while, but it may still need extraction within five years of the injury.
3. You Have Severe Tooth Decay that Cannot be Treated by Other Means.
Sometimes dentists use tooth extraction to eliminate dental problems that persist despite other treatments. A decayed tooth might receive a filling first, but occasionally the decay causes bacteria to spread to the tooth's pulp, where the tooth's nerves and blood vessels are. At that point, a root canal may clear out the infection and save the tooth. But if the infection continues to spread, extraction is sometimes necessary. Extracting the tooth removes the infection and stops it from extending into the bone or other areas of the jaw.
4. You are preparing to get braces.
Orthodontic dental treatments line up the teeth so they fit just right in your mouth. Braces do more than give you a pleasant-looking smile; they also give teeth ideal spacing between them. Teeth have fewer problems when they do not crowd together or are widely spread apart.
In preparation for your braces or other orthodontic treatment, your dentist might extract a tooth or even several teeth. The tooth that needs extraction probably fits one or more of these criteria:
- It grew in the wrong place
- It does not fit next to other teeth
- It has no room to grow in
- It is the wrong size for your mouth
- It is an extra tooth
After your dentist extracts the tooth, he or she may replace the tooth with a dental implant, a bridge, or a crown. Or your dentist might use the braces to align your remaining teeth without replacing the extracted one. The best course of treatment will depend on your smile's aesthetics.
5. Your teeth are loose because of gum disease.
Your gums and jaw bones work together to hold teeth firmly in place. But if they were to develop gum disease, your teeth may become loose. Without support from healthy gums and strong jaw bones, teeth may likely fall out.
If gum disease becomes severe, your dentists will likely try other procedures to save your teeth before extraction. These may include root planing (removing the plaque around the tooth's root which causes gum disease) or pocket reduction surgery (a more intense cleaning of tooth surfaces beneath gum tissue). However, if gum disease becomes too advanced, extraction is sometimes the best option to eliminate the infection.
When you hear the word "extract" at a dental office, there's no reason to panic. Tooth extractions are common and normal procedures. If you or your child needs a dental extraction, talk to your dentist about the procedure. He or she can answer your questions and help you feel prepared.