When is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?
We all want to preserve our natural teeth for as long as possible and taking particular care of them will help us to do this. Brushing effectively for the recommended two minutes twice each day, flossing and consuming sugary and acidic foods and drinks in moderation will all help us to enjoy healthy, beautiful teeth. However, despite our best efforts, sometimes issues arise which means that at least one of our teeth is no longer health. Despite there being many different methods of restoring them, sometimes the situation calls for a more drastic solution – a tooth extraction.
Dental extractions have come a long way in the last few decades, and advances in the techniques and anesthesia used to mean that even the most complex dental extractions can be performed with minimal stress to the patient.
When is a tooth extraction necessary?
A tooth extraction is only ever a last resort. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the best option to alleviate any unpleasant symptoms that you are experiencing and preventing the current problem from being transmitted to your other teeth and putting them at risk.
There are some situations in which a tooth extraction is more likely to be the best course of action. These include the following:
An impacted wisdom tooth
Some teeth are more likely to be troublesome than others. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth are particularly prone to developing problems, and this is mainly due to the fact that they come through last of all, often not until our late teens or early 20s. At this point, there may not be sufficient space to accommodate the wisdom teeth, causing them to get impacted beneath the gum. Alternatively, they may start to erupt but run into difficulties. Wisdom teeth problems often cause severe dental pain and infections of the soft tissue around them are common. Usually, the best way to resolve the issue is to extract the wisdom tooth.
Severe tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent dental issues that we face. It occurs when we don’t brush our teeth sufficiently, which allows bacteria to build upon them. They produce acid which erodes the layers of the teeth, exposing the more sensitive inner layers and causing anything from a dull ache to severe pain. Although decay can be resolved using fillings and crowns, in the case of severe decay that is beyond the capabilities of other restorative measures, an extraction may be needed.
Severe gum disease
In addition to decay, gum disease is the other biggest dental issue that we face. This inflammatory condition occurs when bacteria from poorly cleaned teeth passes onto the gums where they cause irritation and infection. In the early stages, gum disease can be reversed. However, the initial symptoms are easily overlooked or ignored, and if the condition is allowed to progress, severe gum disease can lead to permanent damage to your teeth and even your jaw. The infection that occurs will attack the structures supporting your teeth, causing them to fail and your tooth to come out or be so loose that extraction is the only viable option.
Our teeth are incredibly strong, owing to being covered by enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body, but even they aren’t completely impervious to damage and fractures can happen. You are also at greater risk of cracks, chips, and other damage if you have recently had root canal or a large filling. When a tooth is cracked below the gum, it is usually very difficult or impossible to repair it. Infection is common, and the entire tooth is painful which makes things like eating and drinking very difficult. As a result, below-gum fractures often result in extraction.
If you are concerned that you may need a tooth extraction and would like to have your smile assessed by experienced professionals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert dental team.