Although a dentist will always strive to do everything they can to help you keep all of your teeth, there are dozens of reasons you may need to have a tooth removed. The most common type of tooth extraction is the removal of wisdom teeth, but things like gum disease, tooth damage, and tooth position can also be severe enough that treatment is not possible, and removing the tooth is necessary. Here are three situations where your dentist may need to perform a tooth extraction to improve your oral health.
- You have a fractured tooth. There are several ways a tooth can develop a crack or fracture and different levels of fracture severity. Trauma from an accident or blow to the face is a major cause, but non-traumatic events like aging and teeth grinding can also cause a fracture to form. Not all fractures are severe enough to require a tooth extraction, but tooth fractures will not heal the way bone fractures do and may even get worse as time goes on or if left untreated. If a fracture is causing significant pain, impacting your ability to eat or speak, or growing larger, removing it may be the only option to preserve your oral health.
- There is severe tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to other, more serious conditions, including tooth abscesses and other infections that can spread to other areas of your body. If tooth decay has gone too long without treatment, it may become severe enough that a tooth extraction is the only suitable treatment.
- Your teeth are crowded or far out of position. Sometimes, a person’s jaw is not big enough to accommodate the size of their permanent teeth, or they may even have extra teeth that are applying pressure and causing their other teeth to shift. While corrective measures like braces may be able to fix crowded teeth in some cases, for others, the only solution is strategically removing one or more teeth to alleviate the overcrowding.
If you are experiencing tooth pain or discomfort, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the source of the problem. Although some cases are unavoidable, scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings is the best way to help prevent the need for a tooth extraction.