Every permanent tooth is valuable as it does not grow back. So when your dentist informs that you need a tooth removed, were you surprised? Modern dentistry has evolved and aims to save teeth. And you have heard your dentist stress the importance of oral hygiene to keep your teeth healthy. But sometimes it becomes extremely necessary to extract teeth to maintain the overall health of your mouth. There are many reasons for a tooth extraction, let’s look at them:
This is the most common reason for tooth extraction. Usually such teeth have decay that is extensive leading to a large cavity with infection which involves the tooth’s nerve with breakdown of surrounding bone.
Any tooth decay starts by involving the other hard covering called enamel. Once this enamel is broken, what we call a cavity is formed. If not stopped, it reaches the inner layer of dentin. Now the process of spread of decay is fast as dentin is comparatively softer. At this stage people start to experience sensitivity and pain. If you visit your dentist at this point, a filling should suffice.
Now, if you avoid visiting a dentist at this juncture, the decay will further extend and involve the tooth’s nerve which gets infected and inflamed. Such teeth can be saved by undergoing root canal treatment.
But there are instances when this infection is so severe that it involves the surrounding bone as well as eaten up the tooth’s root and cannot be effectively treated by antibiotics and root canal treatment. In such scenario your dentist might recommend extraction. If such infected teeth are left in the mouth, they can infect the adjacent teeth and bone. There can be further complications like development of pus, abscess, swelling and can lead to a medical emergency where in the patient is unable to breath due to swelling in the mouth.
It takes years for the infection to reach such a stage that it renders the tooth non salvageable. Hence it is recommended that you see a dentist every six months to catch decay when it is small and convenient to be treated.
Gum disease and infection
Gum disease and infection is yet another common cause behind tooth removal. It starts with inflammation of the gums called gingivitis that presents as bleeding, swollen gums. But if you ignore these signs it can gradually lead to more aggressive gum disease called Periodontitis. In its advanced stages Periodontitis leads to severe destruction of the bone and gum tissue surrounding the tooth. Teeth start to become loose as their supporting structures degenerate, which may require extraction.
If teeth are bigger in size as compared to jaws, it can lead to crowding and crooked teeth. So during orthodontic treatment to correct this misalignment, space needs to be created by extracting teeth. Usually the premolars, either first or second, are extracted. The available space can accommodate and align the out of line teeth gradually.
Impacted teeth and Wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are your third molars that come in the mouth all the way in the back. They are the last to erupt in your mouth, around ages 17 to 25 years and hence called ‘wisdom’ teeth. In around 85% of people, wisdom teeth start to become problematic needing their removal.
Some of the reasons your wisdom teeth might need extraction are:
Impaction: If third molars are unable to fully erupt due to lack of space in the jaws, they get impacted and need to be removed. They can be tilted at odd angles.
The gum tissue covering the molar becomes a trap for food and bacteria as it is difficult to keep it clean, causing infection, cavity, pain, swelling, inability to open mouth in which case extraction should be done right away.
- The wisdom tooth can be tilted and exert undue pressure on the adjacent molar, damaging it.
Cysts or tumors, although in rare circumstances, are also associated with third molars.
- The wisdom teeth in the upper jaw can cause sinus congestion and pain.
Besides wisdom teeth, other teeth can be impacted, and not able to erupt requiring extraction.
Teeth that are badly broken down, especially at or below the gum line, due to extensive cavity or trauma cannot be restored as they do not have enough tooth structure left to put a crown on. In such instances it is best to remove and replace them.
Sometimes a baby tooth refuses to fall out on its own. The situation gets alarming when the permanent counterpart starts to erupt. If such a baby tooth is not removed on time, the permanent tooth can erupt at an unwanted angle.
Types of extraction performed
There are two types of extractions; surgical and non-surgical.
When a tooth is inaccessible directly from the mouth, or its roots are curved at an angle to the crown, it is not possible to perform a regular non-surgical extraction. In which case, the dentist needs to remove the overlying gum tissue and or bone and sometimes cut the tooth in parts to completely remove it. Impacted teeth, which are at an angle, partially or completely submerged either vertically or horizontally usually need surgical extractions. Such extractions are done by Oral surgeons, who are dentists with advanced training and experience in performing such procedures. On the other hand, a tooth that is already erupted completely, with straight roots can be easily removed by non-surgical extraction.
Tooth Extraction made Easy at Signature Smiles
Tooth Extraction is usually dreaded by most people. At Signature Smiles, our dental specialists use modern methods, advanced pain management practices, adequate local anesthesia as well as sedation techniques to make it a comfortable experience that is free of pain. From start to end, our staff takes efforts to ensure a calm atmosphere to so you feel relaxed. So make an appointment today with our dental specialists at Signature Smiles to find out if your tooth can be saved or you need an extraction.