Keeping your natural teeth is preferable to removing them. However, there are certain circumstances where performing a tooth extraction is the best solution for the patient and their overall oral health.
A Tooth is Severely Decayed or Infected
Tooth decay occurs when dental plaque builds up on the teeth. Bacteria in plaque turn sugars into acid, which destroys tooth enamel and causes issues such as cavities and gum disease. If the decay reaches the soft center of the tooth, the pulp, it can cause an infection.
Often a dentist can treat this infection by performing a root canal treatment. However, if the infection is severe, the dentist may need to perform a tooth extraction to ensure the infection does not spread.
A Tooth is Badly Damaged
There numerous ways teeth can be broken or damaged from serious incidents, such as traffic collisions or sporting accidents, or eating hard foods like ice. When this happens, your dentist will do everything they can to save your natural tooth, often using treatments such as dental crowns. In some cases, however, the best option is to perform a tooth extraction.
Correcting an Overcrowded Bite
Having overcrowded teeth is relatively common and can be caused by various factors, including having too many teeth or having different-sized teeth. Crowded teeth often overlap and tend to be crooked. Not only can this cause low self-esteem, but it can also lead to significant health problems such as:
- Increased tooth decay and gum disease because it is difficult to thoroughly clean plaque from between the teeth.
- Uneven wearing down of teeth.
- Difficulties with speech.
You can typically treat overcrowding with braces, which move the teeth into the correct positions. However, in many cases, one or more teeth may need to be removed to create space for the remaining teeth to sit comfortably.
Impacted teeth are those that are blocked or partially blocked from breaking through the gums. This is most common among wisdom teeth. Complications of impacted teeth include:
- Root and bone damage
- Gum disease
- Crowding of nearby teeth
- Bone absorption
Symptoms of impacted teeth include swelling and redness of gums, tenderness of gums and jaw bone, bad breath, prolonged headaches, unpleasant taste in your mouth, and difficulty opening your mouth. Visit your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms.
People who undergo radiotherapy to the head and neck must visit their dentist before starting the treatment. If the dentist spots any decaying teeth, they will extract them. Radiotherapy makes tooth decay much more likely while also making healing more difficult. In these cases, extraction is the best way to avoid future dental problems.
Tooth Extraction Can Benefit Your Oral Health
Many people are understandably nervous at the thought of having a tooth removed. However, your dentist or oral surgeon will do everything they can to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure, including using either general or local anesthetic. It is a commonly performed treatment that can have significant benefits to your oral health.
If appropriate, your dentist will inform you of your tooth replacement options, including bridges, dental implants, and dentures. If you are concerned about a decaying tooth, schedule an appointment with Blue Island Smiles today.