Perhaps you expected your dentist to tell you that you need some type of restorative work done on your tooth, but you might not have expected that to mean tooth extraction. For many people, the thought of losing a tooth on purpose is almost as stressful as losing a tooth on accident; but in some cases, tooth extraction is the best way to save your smile. If you’re wondering why your dentist recommended tooth extraction instead of trying to save your tooth, then you may want to learn why the procedure is necessary for the good of your long-term oral health.
You have an impacted wisdom tooth.
Impacted wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the most commonly extracted teeth. The last set of molars is often problematic, and one or more of them may become trapped by nearby teeth, or stuck unable to erupt from the jawbone or gum tissues. The impaction can lead to a host of dental issues and increasingly worse discomfort, and extracting the wisdom teeth is the only way to alleviate the pain and remove the threat to your other teeth.
Your tooth infection has spread too much.
In mild to moderate cases of tooth infection (or tooth decay), a tooth filling or root canal treatment can usually restore the tooth’s health, strength, and ability to function properly. In severe cases, however, the infection may be too invasive to remove and save the tooth. Therefore, your dentist may suggest tooth extraction to stop the decay from spreading beyond the tooth’s roots and into nearby tissues and jawbone structure.
Your tooth is too damaged to repair.
Like tooth infection, tooth trauma can often be successfully repaired with the right restoration, such as a dental crown. Yet if the tooth is so damaged that little of its healthy structure remains intact, or if the tooth’s root is fractured or broken, then your dentist may need to extract and replace the tooth to restore your smile’s appearance and the full function of your bite.