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Extractions

Why might a person require a tooth extraction?

There are a number of reasons why your dentist might recommend that you have a tooth, or even several teeth, extracted. Listed below are some of these reasons:

Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth can be extraction candidates.

Some teeth will have extensive decay (dental caries) or else will have broken or cracked in such an extreme manner that an extraction might be considered the best, or at least a reasonable, solution. Of course there will be a number of factors that will come into play with any specific situation. In some cases the obstacles that present themselves might be so formidable that a repair for the tooth is simply not possible. In other cases the cost of needed dental treatment or else a questionable long-term outlook for the success of the treatment may be the reason an extraction is chosen.

Teeth that are unsuitable candidates for root canal treatment should be extracted.

Some teeth may require treatment of the nerve space that lies within them (root canal treatment) in order to make a repair. While most teeth typically are candidates for root canal treatment there can be complicating factors that remove this option. If this is the case and needed root canal treatment cannot be performed then the extraction of the tooth is indicated.

Teeth associated with advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) may need to be pulled.

By definition, teeth that have experienced the effects of advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) are teeth whose supporting bone has been damaged. In general, as periodontal disease worsens, a tooth is supported by less and less surrounding bone, often to the point where the tooth becomes loose. In those cases where significant bone damage has occurred and a tooth has become excessively mobile extraction of the tooth may be the only option.

Malpositioned or nonfunctional teeth may need to be extracted.

Some teeth are extracted because they are malpositioned. As an example, sometimes when wisdom teeth come in they lie in a position that proves to be a constant source of irritation to the person’s cheek (by either rubbing against the cheek or causing the person to bite it). As a solution, a dentist may suggest that the offending wisdom teeth should be extracted.

Some teeth might be extracted because they provide very little service to the dental patient but do offer risk for becoming problematic. A common example is a wisdom tooth that has come in but has no matching tooth to bite against. Wisdom teeth are typically in a region of the mouth that is hard to clean, thus placing them and their neighboring tooth at greater risk for decay and periodontal disease. Depending on the precise circumstances that they find, a dentist may advise their patient that removing a nonfunctional tooth might be in that patient’s best long-term interest in regards to maintaining good oral health.

Impacted teeth are often extracted. Impacted teeth are teeth whose positioning in the jaw bone is such that they cannot erupt into normal alignment. So by definition, impacted teeth are malpositioned and because they are malpositioned they are often nonfunctional. This combination of factors makes impacted teeth common candidates for extraction.

Tooth extractions may be required in preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces).

When orthodontic treatment is performed for a patient the dentist is trying to perfect the alignment of the patient’s teeth but they can only do so within the confines of the size of the person’s jaws. Especially in those cases where a large discrepancy exists between the size of the patient’s jaws and the needed space required for the improved alignment of their teeth, some strategically located teeth may need to be extracted.

Oral Surgeon Referral

There are times where a general dentists will not be able to perform the extractions for you and will have to refer you out to a specialists. Below are some of the reasons why a general dentist will refer to an oral surgeon.

1. Roots are long and curved
2. Wisdom tooth extractions
3. Difficult broken root tips

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