Of course, we want to keep all the teeth we can, and to take the best care of them that we can. But sometimes, situations arise when the best option is to have a tooth extracted. Here are a few reasons why that might happen.
- Tooth decay: If you have a broken tooth or one that has decay, a dentist may fix it with such methods as a filling or a crown. However, if the damage is too extensive, the tooth will need to be extracted. A very loose tooth will also need to be extracted if it can’t be saved.
- Wisdom teeth: These teeth usually come in around the late teens or early 20s and are often extracted before or after they do. They can get impacted (stuck in the jaw) and do not emerge properly, causing pain and swelling. They may also get infected, develop a cyst, or get decayed, which would also require an extraction.
- Extra or overcrowded teeth: Some individuals may get extra teeth coming in that would block the proper growth of other teeth.
- Baby teeth: Sometimes, baby teeth don’t fall out when they should and permanent teeth are blocked from coming in.
- Braces: To make room for the teeth that are being moved into place, some teeth may need to be extracted.
- Infected teeth as a result of a health procedure: People who receive cancer drugs may develop infected teeth because those drugs cause the immune system to weaken. The same situation occurs for patients who have received an organ transplant because they are required to take drugs that decrease or suppress the immune system.
There are two types of tooth removal procedures. A simple extraction is done on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. The dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator and then removes it using forceps. A surgical extraction is a more complicated procedure, which is used if a tooth has broken off at the gum line or has not erupted yet in the mouth. In this case, a small incision is made into the gums to remove the tooth surgically.