Usually, we try to avoid tooth extraction whenever it is possible — in truth, we prefer that every patient keep every natural tooth they can. Thanks to new dentistry techniques, we can save most problematic teeth before extraction is needed.
In very specific cases, where we can’t save the tooth, we may need to extract the tooth. Below are the five indicators you may need an extraction.
No. 1: Infected Tooth
Infections will occur when bacteria gets inside one of your root canals and infects the tooth. In many instances, root canal therapy is the best solution. However, when the infection is severe enough we recommend extraction and replacement of the tooth. This may be the best option for maintaining optimal oral health.
No. 2: Decayed Tooth
If we can catch tooth decay early enough, we can often repair the damage it causes. It is common that we can restore the tooth with a filling or dental crown.
If the decayed tooth isn’t treated in time, the structure of that tooth may be weakened. If you leave the tooth untreated, the decay will spread. For teeth that are decayed beyond the point of restoring, extraction can be recommended.
No. 3: Impacted Tooth
Teeth that are impacted, may require extraction. We work to save impacted canines, as the cuspids are crucial to maintaining a proper bite. When wisdom teeth are impacted they are usually removed. Third molars are generally not necessary and keeping them may lead to future oral health problems.
No. 4: Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Healthy gums act as the foundation to secure and hold your teeth in place.
Because the roots of your tooth are not properly anchored, it is common for patients with advanced gum disease to have loose teeth. If advanced gum disease is found around one or more of your teeth without adequate support, tooth extraction may be the recommended solution.
No. 5: Crowded Mouth
Each tooth has a specific structure and purpose in your mouth. Having too many teeth can cause oral health problems. Primary teeth fall out before the permanent teeth can erupt. If any primary teeth remain in place, the dental arch can be overcrowded. For these unyielding primary teeth, a tooth extraction is required.
However, when it comes to a crowded mouth, it is more common that a small underdeveloped jaw or teeth that are larger than their available space will be the cause of needing a tooth extraction. This type of crowding is usually corrected through a combination of strategic tooth extractions and orthodontic treatments.