No one wants to have a tooth extracted, but there are times when this is the only course of action. Like patients, dentists prefer to not have to go to this extreme measure and will try their best to save the tooth by restoring it or repairing it. But, as we said, sometimes that is simply not a option.
Dentists do not simply pull teeth. They need a very good reason for doing this procedure. Here are some of the more common reasons a tooth has to be removed.
Trauma or Damage: If a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it has to be removed. Damage can come about from an accident, sports, fights, or severe decay. In some cases, advanced gum disease can also cause a tooth to be removed as the gum that supports the tooth becomes less effective at its job.
Non-Working Teeth: In some cases, a tooth may not be able to perform any function at all. This often occurs if the tooth is severely out of position and there is no matching tooth for it to bite against. The problem with non-working teeth is that they can cause additional problems with other teeth and can have a very negative impact on a person’s dental health. In this same area are those teeth that are extra, also known as supernumerary teeth. Extra teeth may cause future teeth from coming through normally.
Special Treatments: For some who are getting braces or having other types of orthodontic work done, the dentist may need to remove a tooth to make room for the appliances or to make room for better alignment of the teeth that are being treated.
Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy: In some cases, the dentist may be requested to remove a tooth or teeth in order for the patient to take part in radiation therapy for certain cancers. Also, some chemotherapy treatments cause a reduced immune system which may increase the risk of infections.
It is not at all uncommon for many people to have their wisdom teeth removed. These teeth, also known as the third molars, can cause problems with other teeth as they tend to push other teeth to the side, causing them to become misaligned. Many dentists suggest removal of the wisdom teeth before they are completely developed.
There are two general types of extractions. The first is known as simple and the second is known as surgical.
Simple Extractions: These are extractions that most people are familiar with. They involve removing teeth that can be seen by the dentist and are usually performed under a local anesthetic.
Surgical Extractions: These extractions are more complicated and involve removing those teeth that are not easy to get to because of damage or some other reason. These extractions are done by oral surgeons who have special training and equipment.
In both cases, today’s dental professionals are fully trained and able to make the best decisions concerning your teeth and how to best serve you, their patients. If you are not sure about your current dental health, visit with your dentist soon and get a check up.