The problem with most dental health issues, including cavities and gingivitis, is that the longer you wait to treat them, the more serious the damage they’ll cause. In many cases, the end results is that, by the time a patient seeks treatment, the damage/disease has become so invasive that extracting the tooth is the only remaining option. To help you avoid such severe consequences, we examine the most common reasons behind tooth extraction, and why you may need the procedure to save your smile.
When Tooth Extraction is the Best Option
Severe tooth damage
Just because your tooth wasn’t immediately knocked out doesn’t mean the damage it sustained won’t eventually cause you to lose it. Your teeth can’t repair cracks, fractures, significantly chipped edges, and other structural damage. If you don’t seek immediate treatment for your cracked or broken tooth, then you may have to have it removed to prevent injury to the surrounding jawbone and gum tissues.
Extreme tooth decay
Tooth infection, or tooth decay, is a progressive issue that involves bacteria eroding your tooth’s main structure (called dentin). Left unchecked, decay can reach the center of your tooth, which houses nerves and blood vessels, then spread through the roots that are embedded in your jawbone. In severe cases of tooth decay, when root canal therapy won’t suffice, a tooth extraction might be the only way to prevent the infection from spreading beyond the tooth.
Impacted wisdom tooth
Though it doesn’t happen to everyone, many people experience significant discomfort when their wisdom teeth become impacted by nearby molars. Impacted wisdom teeth can push your existing teeth out of their proper alignment, throw your bite off balance, and lead to tooth damage and a host of other issues. Impacted wisdom teeth aren’t exactly preventable, though if you maintain a schedule of dental checkups and cleanings, then your dentist may spot the impaction and extract the wisdom tooth before it hinders your oral health.