The goal of our dental practice is to preserve your natural teeth as long as possible, keeping them healthy, white, and beautiful. While extractions are a last resort, there are times when it may be in your best interest to have a tooth removed.
When to Consider Extraction
Extractions are typically only considered when all other treatment options have failed. There are a variety of reasons that extraction may be warranted:
Sometimes a dentist will pull a tooth to prepare the mouth for orthodontic treatment. Likewise, if a mouth is so crowded that a permanent tooth can’t erupt, a baby tooth may need to be extracted.
If tooth decay extends into the tooth pulp – the center that contains blood vessels and nerves – infection may result. A root canal and/or antibiotics may be able to help, but if they don’t, an extraction may be needed.
If your tooth has been damaged and other conventional treatments don’t allow it to look and function as it should, an extraction may be necessary.
Most notable with the wisdom teeth, if an impacted tooth is in an undesirable position, it could be best to remove it before the roots have fully formed.
What to Expect During an Extraction
If you and your dentist decide that extraction is the best solution for your dental problem, you’ll be given an injection of local anesthetic to numb the area. Forceps are used to grasp the tooth, gently rock it back and forth, and remove it from the jaw bones and ligaments. More difficult teeth – especially the molars with multiple roots – may need to be removed in pieces.
Once a tooth has been extracted, the neighboring teeth could shift, and you may experience changes to your jaw joint function or chewing. To avoid complications, your dentist can recommend various options to replace the extracted tooth.