In most cases, dentists are committed to the preservation of your natural teeth. However, there are some cases where the presence of certain teeth can be detrimental to your oral health. These are the cases that usually require tooth extractions.
A tooth extraction is the removal of a single tooth or multiple teeth. There are two types of extractions that are performed by your dentist. The first is known as a simple extraction. With a simple extraction, an elevator tool is used to rock the tooth and lift it from the socket. The other type of extraction is known as a surgical extraction. With a surgical extraction, the tooth is broken into pieces prior to its piece-by-piece removal.
While no one looks forward to having a tooth extraction, some extractions are necessary. Usually these cases are accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms caused by the problematic tooth. Once the tooth is extracted and the socket has healed, this will put an end to these symptoms and help to restore a patient’s oral health.
So, at this point you may be wondering what types of dental cases require tooth extractions. Simply stated, if a tooth is threatening your oral health, it may need to be extracted. Here are three of the most common reasons for a tooth extraction:
Impacted Wisdom Teeth:
Impacted wisdom teeth refers to wisdom teeth that are unable to erupt properly out of the gum line. Wisdom teeth can be partially erupted, meaning that part of them is above the gum line while the rest is underneath. They can also be fully erupted, meaning that the entire wisdom tooth is trapped under the gum line. Usually when wisdom teeth are impacted, it is because they are not aligned properly. Thus, they end up causing a range of dental problems when trying to erupt. These can include overcrowding, pain, swelling, infection, and cysts. To prevent or alleviate these symptoms, impacted wisdom teeth are usually extracted. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons for tooth extractions. For more information on impaction, see “What Does Impaction Mean?”
Just as its name implies, overcrowding is the presence of too many teeth inside the mouth. Usually, this is hereditary and is caused by having a mouth that is too small to accommodate the teeth properly. In other cases, it is the result of losing primary teeth too early. Primary teeth reserve space for permanent teeth and when they are lost too early, this space gets filled by the surrounding teeth. Tooth extraction is often the solution for severe overcrowding because removing a tooth or two gives the remaining teeth enough space to be aligned properly.
When the bacteria that cause tooth decay have eroded through the enamel and dentin layers to reach the dental pulp, this results in an infection. If caught early, a root canal can usually remedy the situation. However, if the infection is severe or if it has caused an abscess at the base of the tooth roots, the tooth may need to be extracted. In these cases, extraction is necessary to prevent the infection from spreading to the surrounding teeth or to other parts of the body.
Bob Dokhanchi, DDS
Dr. Dokhanchi earned the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) with clinical honors in 1992. Dr. Dokhanchi attends numerous continuing education courses every year in order to stay current with the latest techniques and technology in the world of dentistry. He considers Ethics, Quality, Safety, and Comfort the pillars of his dental practice and believes that communicating with patients is essential to quality dental care.