The dentists at Thrive Dental and Orthodontics do everything they can to avoid tooth extractions if possible. No restorative option is as functional as your natural tooth. However, there are multiple instances where a tooth extraction is necessary. If an infected or severely damaged tooth is beyond repair and/or at risk of damaging other teeth, our office will do everything it can to preserve your oral health. Don’t wait to get your oral issue treated; call our office to learn your options and determine the best next steps!
More often than not, dentists will go out of their way to restore damaged teeth via dental fillings or crowns. In cases where the tooth has been severely damaged, either by decay or physical trauma, the tooth itself cannot be effectively restored. For example, teeth with cracks that extend below the gum line will likely need to be extracted if it reaches the pulp.
Furthermore, teeth that have developed so much decay that a root canal cannot save it will need to be extracted. If teeth erupt and there isn’t enough room in the mouth to accommodate the new tooth, it will be extracted (as is often the case for wisdom teeth.)
Tooth extractions can be broken down into a few different categories depending on the circumstances. Take a moment to go over each to build a clear expectation of your future treatment.
Most patients cannot accommodate the eruption of third molars. While this is not always the case, dentists only recommend extraction if they fear that future problems will occur or if current issues are present (i.e. tooth pain, misalignment or an oral infection.) If they pose a threat to your oral health in any way, we’ll have the tooth removed either as a precautionary measure or to remove your symptoms.
If the tooth is exposed, a simple extraction can be made. However, if the tooth is impacted, meaning it has not fully erupted due to gum tissue or another tooth blocking it, a surgical extraction will be performed.
If you have extensive decay or simply certain genetics, multiple tooth extractions may be needed to protect your oral health. As we plan your procedure, we’ll also go over methods to replace your missing teeth, whether it be dental implants, bridges or dentures. If your teeth are severely misaligned or crowded, we may also remove teeth to make room for your orthodontic treatment. In some cases, this is the only way that orthodontic treatment becomes viable.
We couldn’t talk about tooth extractions unless we also noted how we protect your existing alveolar bone. At our office, we typically recommend dental implants to replace teeth because of it’s longevity, functionality and ability to preserve natural bone tissue after a tooth is extracted. Since bone can begin to deteriorate as soon as a tooth is removed, we always inform patients of the best way to prevent this process. This typically includes bone grafting, which works to fortify existing bone tissue.
After your tooth is extracted, we’ll make sure to go over all instructions to keep your extraction site healthy while it heals. We recommend that all patients: