Although no one wants to have a tooth extracted, sometimes it becomes necessary to do so. Tooth extractions can be something that arise on an emergency basis, such as if you have badly damaged a tooth beyond repair and are experiencing intense pain or are at risk for infection or other issues, or they may be something that you have time to think through and plan with your dentist.
Most extractions are not emergency situations. They arise due to issues in the health of your teeth or because of how they are growing in that make it advisable that you remove the tooth rather than attempt another form of treatment. Knowing why and when you may need an extraction can ease the worry that comes from considering this dental procedure.
One of the most common reasons for a tooth extraction is due to the eruption of your wisdom teeth. These teeth may need to be removed because they are fully impacted, partially impacted, or they may cause other issues as they come in that need to be addressed. This often happens in the later teen years, and wisdom teeth extraction is sometimes seen as a “rite of passage” for this age group, much in the same way that braces are for younger teens. However, wisdom teeth may not need to be removed if they grow in properly on their own and cause no other issues in the mouth or result in shifting teeth.
Another reason that you may need to have a tooth extracted is that there is not enough room for all of your teeth to grown in while still achieving proper alignment. This may be evident as teeth are growing in when an individual is young, or it may arise later in life due to shifting teeth or orthodontic problems that can’t be addressed without creating more space for the teeth to align properly.
Additionally, you may need to undergo an extraction if you have a tooth or teeth that are badly decayed or damaged. In these cases, your dentist will likely try to utilize other dental treatments first that will maintain your natural tooth structure, since that is preferable to removing the tooth completely, but there are situations where other procedures are simply not enough.
Unless it is determined that a tooth needs to be extracted because it is not growing in properly or is causing alignment issues that can’t be fixed with orthodontic treatment, a dentist will try to save an existing tooth, or at least a portion of it, whenever possible rather than removing it. This is because as long as the base of the tooth is healthy, it is preferable to keep it intact and have it support a restoration, such as a crown, so that underlying bone health is not compromised. When a tooth is extracted and the bone is no longer used to support the tooth, atrophy and resulting bone loss can occur over time.
If your dentist recommends that you have a tooth pulled or extracted, there is no need to be fearful. Today’s dentistry procedures can be performed without pain, and if you use a trusted and experienced dentist, you should feel secure knowing that your tooth extraction is being done to improve your overall oral health.
For more information about tooth extractions or to consult with a dentist in Queens to determine if you need a tooth extracted, contact Gentle Dental at 718-461-0100.