No matter how much we want to keep our permanent teeth for a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. One of the most common is when a tooth is badly damaged that it already needs to be removed. Other reasons for removing teeth include the following:
- Infection: If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp -- the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels -- bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Most of the time, this can be corrected with root canal therapy, but if the infection is so severe that not even antibiotic nor root canal therapy can cure it, extraction may be required just to avoid the spread of infection.
- A crowded mouth: There are times when a tooth needs to be pulled out to prepare the mouth for orthodontic treatments. Orthodontics aims to properly align the teeth which will not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. This is also the same cases when a tooth cannot break through the gum because there is not enough room in the mouth for it, your dentist may suggest removing the tooth.
- Risk of infection: If your immune system is compromised, the risk of infection for a tooth may be a reason for extracting it.
- Periodontal disease: If a tooth loosens because the teeth and bones supporting it get infected due to periodontal disease, it may be necessary to pull the tooth.
- More space for the permanent tooth: Sometimes baby tooth does not fall out in time to give way for the permanent tooth, then the baby tooth must be pulled out
- Wisdom tooth extractions: Wisdom teeth are often extracted either before or after they come in. They need to be removed if they are decayed, cause pain or have a cyst or infection.
Before a tooth is removed, we will look at your medical and dental history and take X-rays. From your X-ray, we will be able to gather information on the length, shape, and position of the tooth and the surrounding bone. This will help us estimate the level of difficulty of the procedure.
Your tooth will be anesthetized before the extraction so that you will not feel any pain. Once the area is numb, the tooth is loosened then extracted with dental forceps. Once extraction is done, the area may be closed with a stitch.
After the removal of the tooth, it is important to keep the area clean to prevent infection. You may also be recommended a painkiller if you experience a certain amount of pain and discomfort. Under normal circumstances, discomfort should only last for three days to two weeks and if it goes beyond that, feel free to contact our dental office.