No one likes the idea of undergoing a tooth extraction. In fact, even dental professionals try to avoid it whenever possible, as saving the natural teeth is most beneficial for long-term oral health. However, sometimes saving a natural tooth simply is not in the best interest of the patient.
Here, our team at Periodontal Associates in Englewood, NJ explores how tooth extraction can improve oral health.
When Is a Tooth Extraction Recommended?
Generally speaking, a tooth extraction is recommended when there is not enough healthy tooth structure left to support a dental restoration. Your dentist will weigh the risks and benefits to determine if a tooth extraction is the right treatment option for you.
Some of the most common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Extensive decay: In order for a crown to be successful long-term, it must be placed on a sound, healthy tooth. When a tooth is severely damaged by decay, there may not be enough healthy structure left to support a filling, crown, or other restoration.
- Gum disease: Did you know that periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss? The infection erodes the jawbone and causes pockets to form around the roots of the teeth. As the disease progresses, the teeth can become more mobile, and infection can spread to the adjacent teeth. In some cases, tooth extraction is the last-resort option for gum disease if periodontal therapies have not achieved the desired goal.
- Root canal infection: When bacteria breaches the pulp chamber, it causes the entire tooth to become infected. This most commonly occurs due to untreated decay or a severe fracture. In many cases, the tooth can be saved with root canal therapy. However, if this treatment is not predictable or if the root canal treatment fails, then tooth extraction may be performed.
- Risk of infection: In certain cases, just the risk of infection is enough to warrant a tooth extraction. This includes any situation in which the immune system is compromised. For example, individuals who are undergoing cancer treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, may require tooth extractions before proceeding. This reduces the risk for infection.
- Overcrowding: Occasionally, teeth need to be removed prior to orthodontic treatment. For instance, the jawbone may be too small. To create more room, tooth extractions can be performed before or during orthodontic treatment.
I Had a Tooth Extraction. Now What?
With the occasional rare exception, our doctors at Periodontal Associates recommend replacing a missing tooth. Because all elements of your smile work together harmoniously for proper function, a missing tooth can cause a number of oral health concerns.
For example, the adjacent teeth can begin to shift to fill in the space left behind. This can result in significant changes to your bite, and unbalanced forces can place excessive pressure on your teeth.
At our practice, we offer a variety of teeth replacement options, including dental implants, which are currently deemed the most successful solution on the market. During a consultation, your doctor can determine if implants are right for you.
Contact Us to Learn More
Unfortunately, tooth extractions are sometimes necessary. If you are experiencing dental pain, or signs of decay or gum disease, schedule an appointment at our practice right away so we can determine the most effective treatment option for you. You can call us at (201) 567-7766 or contact us online anytime.