A tooth extraction refers to an oral surgery in which a dentist must pull and remove a tooth from the mouth. Dentists reserve this treatment for teeth that endanger the rest of your smile and will not respond to other restorative dental solutions.
In this procedure, a dentist cuts through the gum tissue and jawbone to separate the affected tooth from its socket. You can anticipate some downtime in order to properly heal from this surgery.
Since the procedure seems invasive, you might wonder which instances might require this type of dental treatment. Read on to discover three scenarios in which a dentist might recommend the extraction of one or more of your teeth.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth refer to the third set of molars that many people have which begin to grow after a dental patient completes puberty. In some cases, these teeth can grow without issue. But humans have evolved to no longer need these teeth. And our jaws are now often too small to support these teeth.
This means that when wisdom teeth start to grow, they can often get stuck in the gums, which dentists refer to as being impacted. A patient can notice significant pain when this occurs. And they will have a higher risk of infection as well.
So a dentist will want to remove these extra molars to relieve oral discomfort and protect the rest of your smile from infections and other complications. They can extract all four wisdom teeth in one procedure if needed. A dentist can monitor wisdom teeth growth prior to presenting symptoms using routine dental x-rays.
Sometimes if you have a small jaw or large teeth, you can notice that your mouth feels crowded. Dental overcrowding can negatively impact your ability to speak, chew, or perform other oral functions. This scenario can also lead to cosmetic dental concerns if the teeth overlap with one another or become crooked.
Overcrowding in the teeth can also put you at a greater risk for cavities and other dental dangers because you cannot easily complete your oral hygiene regimen. A dentist can make more room in your smile if they extract teeth. However, this procedure is not always necessary, so consult with your dentist to learn if this is right for you.
Severe Tooth Damage
Tooth decay is a common problem, but untreated cavities can lead to serious structural damage in a tooth. A dentist can use a dental filling to treat a cavity. But more advanced cases of tooth decay will require more extensive dental work to fix. If decay reaches the inner pulp of the tooth, you could have a high risk of infection.
Then the dentist may need to extract the tooth to stop the spread of decay. So do not delay dental work if you want to preserve as much of your natural dental structure as you can. After this type of extraction, you should discuss tooth replacement solutions with your dentist to restore your oral health.