A tooth extraction refers to the dental procedure where a tooth needs removal entirely from its socket. You may have heard an extraction called having a tooth “pulled.” There are numerous reasons why you might need a tooth extracted, including a broken or decayed tooth. Whatever the reason, tooth extractions are routinely performed and are common. Extraction can remove a tooth causing pain or discomfort, and it can ensure protection against bacteria or infection.
An extraction is typically the last option in dental care. Dentists try to save your natural teeth as often as they can. They employ other methods like fillings or crowns, but sometimes, a tooth may sustain too much damage to make saving it possible. Advanced gum disease, infection, and trauma to a tooth can be cause for extraction.
Causes for a Tooth Extraction
Advanced tooth decay can make it necessary to pull a tooth. The beginning stages of tooth decay start with a cavity, which is a small hole that develops on the surface of your tooth.
Without a filling, the cavity will continue to grow and move further into the tooth, infecting the pulp–the inner portion of your tooth. Root canals usually treat infections, but unfortunately, they are not always successful. Therefore, your dentist may recommend an extraction to prevent the infection from spreading.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can advance into the soft tissues, ligaments, and bones in your mouth. Initially, gum disease presents as redness, swelling, or bleeding of the gums, also called gingivitis, but it can become increasingly more severe.
Advanced stages of gum disease, or periodontal disease, can loosen your teeth or cause bone loss. Once your teeth become loose, your dentist might suggest extraction.
Broken or fractured teeth might need an extraction. Generally, dentists will try to use options like crowns, veneers, or bonding to save your natural teeth. However, sometimes the trauma is too severe, which makes it essential to remove your tooth.
Once your tooth is extracted, you will need time to heal before you move forward with tooth replacement options. You may use a temporary option like partial dentures or bridges, or you may be a candidate for dental implants. Implants are permanent replacements for your missing tooth. Your dentist will discuss your options and what will be best for you.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Many people will need a tooth extraction in their late teens or early 20s. Your third set of molars, or wisdom teeth, usually might need removal. While some people have enough space in their mouth for their wisdom teeth, others will experience overcrowding. Overcrowding can alter your bite, which can cause issues with chewing or even speaking.
Overcrowding can create another issue that needs extraction. An impacted tooth is a tooth that doesn’t have the space to come through the gum. This can commonly occur with wisdom teeth and points to a primary reason why they require extraction. In addition, impacted teeth can damage your surrounding teeth or create an infection. Infections can spread through the bloodstream and be detrimental to your overall health.