A tooth extraction is a treatment option involving the removal of a tooth from its socket. General dentists, periodontists, and oral surgeons perform tooth extractions for patients who need them. Before doing so, they always make sure that an extraction cannot be avoided, as dental professionals always seek to preserve your natural teeth. But when an extraction is necessary, they ensure that the procedure is as painless as possible.
There are two basic types of extractions: simple and surgical. If a tooth is visible above the gumline, it can be performed as a simple extraction under local anesthesia. If the tooth is not easily accessible, such as when it has broken under the gumline or has not fully erupted, a surgical extraction is necessary.
Surgical extractions involve the placement of incisions to access the tooth. Some patients may need their teeth split into several pieces before removal. A surgical extraction is normally performed under general anesthesia.
Some reasons why you may need a tooth extraction include:
Irreparable tooth damage caused by severe tooth decay
Extraction required due to periodontal disease
Due to an impacted tooth
To eliminate overcrowding of teeth
Needed after dental trauma
Irreparable Tooth Damage
Teeth don’t normally need extracting until an infection has reached the dental pulp found at the center of the tooth. Once the dental pulp is damaged and decayed to a certain point, the tooth cannot be saved. Extracting it prevents the infection from spreading throughout the mouth and body.
In some cases, a tooth can be saved with a root canal procedure. This would involve cleaning out the root canals and replacing the resulting empty space with an inert material like gutta-percha.
When gum disease progresses to the irreversible form called periodontitis, it begins threatening the loss of the teeth. Damage begins to occur to the periodontal ligaments and other structures around the teeth. This loosens the teeth, and eventually causes them to fall out.
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush and floss your teeth at home and keep up with your routine dental exam and cleaning appointments.
Impacted Tooth and Overcrowded Teeth
Sometimes, one or more teeth can erupt into a difficult position that affect nearby teeth. This often happens when wisdom teeth emerge during late adolescence.
Wisdom teeth often need extracting before any type of problem actually occurs. Your dentist can tell when your wisdom teeth are going to erupt above the gumline and cause problems. In such an instance, they would recommend that you have them extracted before they have an opportunity to cause real problems.
If you are so unfortunate as to experience an accident, like a car crash, you may experience trauma to your teeth, mouth or gums. Your dentist’s first option is always preserving your natural teeth. If a damaged tooth can be repaired, they may recommend that you undergo some type of restoration, like dental crowns or bonding. If it is absolutely necessary, a tooth extraction would need to be performed.