Pulling teeth is the nuclear option of dental treatments. Though popular culture associates the removal of teeth as a common practice for patients and visitors to the oral surgeon, pulling a tooth is a last ditch effort to solve a dental problem; once a tooth is pulled, there’s no going back. When speaking with your dentist regarding a tooth extraction make sure you haven’t exhausted all other options and that such a course of action is truly necessary. To make sure you’re not overreacting to a problem with a solution (such as a cavity or chipped tooth), we’ve compiled some of the most common reasons for tooth extraction below:
- Infection — If tooth decay becomes too severe it can lead to the infection of the pulp, which is the nerve center of the tooth. In some cases, an infection might lead to a necessary tooth removal procedure to ensure your health and well-being. Nevertheless, as we mentioned above, often times there exist procedures that should be tried prior to having a tooth removed. In this case, root canal therapy is a viable and frequently successful option that eliminates the need for an unnecessary tooth removal.
- Gum Disease — Gum disease, when left untreated, can lead to infection and decay of the tissues and bones that help support a tooth’s position in the mouth. When gum or periodontal disease progresses to an advanced stage, it can lead to teeth becoming loose or infected. In many cases, cases of gum disease become so severe that they cannot be alleviated and require tooth extraction or inevitable tooth loss.
- Impacted Teeth or Teeth That Interfere with Regular Eruption — Sometimes teeth can hinder the proper development and growth of other teeth or simply cannot fit properly in the mouth. The most common of these situations is the removal of one’s wisdom teeth. In these scenarios the wisdom teeth can not erupt properly or are causing significant pain due to crowding of teeth or improper growth. Regardless, teeth that don’t grow properly may need to be removed in order to prevent possible tooth pain.
- Supernumerary (Extra) Teeth — In rare cases, some people are born with extra teeth due to genetic disorders or other causes. Whether it is for cosmetic reasons or to prevent potential crowding, the extraction of these extra teeth is sometimes necessary.
- Other Reasons — This list is not exhaustive. There are several other reasons for the extraction of teeth. Some people may choose to have teeth removed for cosmetic reasons as well after grinding, erosion or discoloration. In any case, it is important to know what extractions are necessary and what aren’t, so speak to your dentist about your options prior to any tooth extraction procedure.
If you have questions about having a tooth extracted, or would simply like to schedule your regular dental cleaning and check-up with Dr. D’Alfonso, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.