Preserving natural teeth is a priority for dentists; however, in some cases, extraction may be necessary. The type of extraction procedure required will depend on the extent of damage to the tooth:
- Simple extraction: Local anesthesia is applied or injected into the extraction site to numb the area. This procedure is performed on visible teeth, and an elevator and forceps are used to remove the tooth.
- Surgical extraction: This procedure is performed under general anesthesia when the tooth is not easily accessible, such as when it has not fully erupted or has broken below the gum line. A small incision is made in the gum to access the tooth, and the surrounding bone is removed to aid extraction with an elevator and forceps.
While wisdom teeth extraction is a common topic of discussion, tooth extraction may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include tooth decay, gum disease, overcrowded teeth, impacted teeth, broken teeth, and baby teeth that have not naturally fallen out.
Delaying treatment can result in increased severity of infection and damage. If your dentist determines that your tooth cannot be salvaged, they may strongly recommend extraction, followed by a bridge or implant. Early detection of cavities can be treated with a straightforward filling.
- Gum disease: Gum disease can be as destructive as tooth decay in its advanced stages, as it attacks the gum tissue, ligaments, and bone that support the teeth. As these structures deteriorate, the teeth can become loose and eventually fall out on their own or may require extraction, followed by gum disease and tooth replacement treatment.
- Overcrowded teeth: If a patient’s mouth is overcrowded, tooth extraction may be necessary as part of their orthodontic treatment plan. By removing a tooth, there is more space for the remaining teeth to be shifted and pulled into their proper alignment.
- Impacted teeth: When a tooth has not fully erupted beyond the gum line, or only partially erupts, it is considered an impacted tooth. This can happen due to overcrowding, abnormal angles of tooth tilt or twist, or displacement of the tooth. Wisdom teeth are commonly impacted because the jaw may not have enough space to accommodate them.
- Broken teeth: When a tooth breaks at or near the gum line, it may become necessary to extract it as restoring it with a dental restoration can become nearly impossible.
- Baby teeth: Sometimes, the baby teeth can come in an abnormal position, causing the permanent tooth underneath it not to erupt normally. In such cases, the removal of the baby tooth will allow the permanent tooth to erupt without any issue.