When is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?
In an ideal world, we would all retain our natural teeth for the duration of our adult lives. However, the reality is very different. Despite most of us taking proactive steps to take care of our teeth through regular brushing and flossing, a balanced diet and regular visits to our dentist, dental problems still arise. If there comes a point when these can no longer be resolved using restorative dentistry treatments such as fillings, crowns and root canal therapy, it may be necessary to consider the last resort – extraction.
A dental extraction refers to the professional removal of one or more teeth. In some cases, the affected tooth can be removed fairly simply. However, in other instances, the process may be more complex, such as if the tooth cannot be removed whole.
How do I know if I need a dental extraction?
The only way to know for sure if you need a dental extraction is to speak to your dentist as they will be able to advise this. However, it is worth knowing the circumstances in which dental extractions are typically recommended. These include the following:
When you have impacted wisdom teeth
Of all the teeth in our mouths, the wisdom teeth are the more likely to be extracted. This is for two reasons. Firstly, they don’t serve any real purpose and as they are situated right at the back of our mouths, we don’t actually need them. Secondly, they erupt very late and long after our other adult teeth. This invariably means that there isn’t enough space for them. A lack of room for the teeth is often what causes them to become impacted. This is where they are unable to come through properly – causing pain, infection and potentially damaging other teeth. If your wisdom teeth cause you issues, you will almost certainly have them removed.
Significant dental decay
Unsurprisingly, very significant and severe dental decay is a primary reason why someone may be referred for a dental extraction. Decay occurs when someone fails to remove the plaque that consistently accumulates on their teeth, enabling the bacteria contained within it to produce acids that erode the enamel and create holes in the teeth. If decay reaches the inner layers of the teeth, it can cause considerable pain and if it reaches the root, it can destroy it and cause the tooth to die. If dental decay is too extensive for the usual restorative methods (fillings and crowns) to be effective, it may be necessary for the tooth to be removed to prevent further problems from occurring or affecting neighboring teeth.
Advanced gum disease
Also known as periodontal disease and periodontitis, advanced gum disease causes irreversible damage to the gums and other structures supporting the teeth. Gum disease occurs when plaque moves from the teeth onto the gums, enabling bacteria to cause inflammation and infection of the tissue. The condition is progressive and will get worse if left untreated. If it reaches advanced stages, extraction may be recommended before the teeth fall out of their own accord.
If you have any further questions about tooth extractions, our dedicated and knowledgeable team is on hand to give you the answers you need. To speak to them, or to schedule an appointment, please call our dental office today.