Tooth extraction is typically a last resort option, but in some cases, they are absolutely necessary. An experienced dentist will ensure patients have a positive, comfortable dental experience. Many do this by offering dental sedation options so patients can get the help they need while limiting their stress and anxiety.
Typical tooth extractions involve administering a local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort. The dentist uses several instruments to move the gum tissue away from the damaged or infected tooth and loosen the tooth. The tooth is then removed, and the open area is cleaned and sterilized. The dentist will stitch the gum tissue back into its proper position.
The most common reasons for a tooth extraction include:
1. Severe Tooth Decay
It typically takes years for tooth decay to end in a tooth extraction. Even so, it is the leading cause of tooth extraction in the United States. Patients who fail to attend regular dental cleaning and exam appointments are some of the most vulnerable to this issue.
Tooth decay begins as a minor issue, but as it progresses, the bacteria wear away at the enamel and enter the inner-tooth structure. At this point, the bacteria infect the pulp of the tooth which can result in a root canal infection. If treatment still isn’t sought, the decay becomes so severe that the tooth can’ t be saved.
2. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, occurs when plaque builds up on the gum line and turns into tartar. As the disease progresses, the gums will recede from the tooth, leaving the tooth roots vulnerable to disease-causing bacteria. At this point, the disease breaks down the supporting structures of the tooth and may cause the tooth to fall out on their own. However, in some cases, the tooth may require extraction.
Patients with severely overcrowded teeth who are seeking to improve their smiles through braces may need to have one or more teeth extracted. The dentist will remove teeth in the back of the mouth so the patient’s finished smile is complete and beautiful. Removing these teeth makes placing brackets easier and provides space for the rest of the teeth to move into their proper positions.
4. Tooth Fracture
Car accidents, sports injuries, and hard foods can all lead to a tooth break or fracture. Fractures along the root of a tooth can cause the tooth to be irreparable. Teeth that break severely may not be able to hold a dental crown and cracks in a tooth can make way for disease-causing bacteria to invade the dental pulp. In these cases, the tooth needs to be extracted.
5. Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common dental procedures. Between the ages of 18 and 25, wisdom teeth often emerge and cause severe pain. The pain is often caused because there isn’t enough room for the teeth to emerge or because the teeth are coming in sideways.
In these cases, the wisdom teeth need to be extracted as soon as possible. Early extraction provides a better chance for success and lowers the risk of oral health complications. Though this procedure is sometimes absolutely necessary, a dentist should never recommend wisdom tooth removal unless these issues are apparent.
Contact Your Dentist Today
Tooth extractions aren’t always necessary and there are several other procedures a dentist can offer to save a tooth. The best way to know if a dental extraction is necessary for your situation is to visit with your dentist.
To meet with our Salt Lake City dentist, call (801) 747-8531 today.