7 Reasons a Tooth Requires Extraction

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7 Reasons a Tooth Requires Extraction

When a kid loses a tooth, it’s a rite of passage, but as an adult, you expect to keep all your teeth. That’s the ideal, but there are several reasons you may need to have one pulled. Find out when here.

No one wants to get a tooth pulled, but sometimes it’s necessary. 

Fortunately, modern dentistry has made this once-dreaded procedure nearly painless. Ben Peterson, DDS, our highly experienced expert at High Desert Dental in Ontario, Oregon, recommends this routine service under certain circumstances. Here’s a closer look at when you might need a tooth extraction

When does a tooth need to be pulled?

Permanent adult teeth are meant to last your whole life. But in some situations, it’s best to extract a problem tooth to preserve your oral health. Here are some of the reasons we may recommend pulling a tooth.

1. Overcrowding

If your jaw is too small to comfortably hold all your teeth, they crowd in together and push one another out of position. This not only leads to crooked teeth and a wonky smile, but it throws your bite off as well. 

This causes a ripple effect of problems, including jaw pain, hygiene challenges, gum disease, and even digestive issues. We may need to extract one or two to make room for the others and prevent these problems.

2. Getting ready for orthodontics

Braces and Invisalign® are great for straightening your teeth and realigning your bite, but they may need a helping hand to get the job done. If you have teeth that are too big, too crowded, or growing in the wrong direction, we may need to extract one or more to enable the orthodontic treatment to work.

3. Preparing for dental implants

If you have a problem tooth that’s riddled with infection or decay and need to replace it with a prosthesis like a dental implant, we need to extract it before we can prepare your jawbone for the titanium anchor implantation.

4. Trauma

A blow to the face, a fast ball in the kisser, or a car crash can easily break your teeth. In many cases, we can save and repair the damage, but if not, extraction may be necessary. This prevents infection and further damage and allows the injury site to heal.

5. Tooth infection

Bacteria love your mouth. It’s wet and warm and a perfect place to breed. These destructive little pathogens work their way into your gum tissue and cause gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, and eventually periodontitis, a more severe form. The infection also seeps into your teeth and attacks the soft pulp at the center.

Dr. Peterson performs a root canal to clear out the infection and save your tooth, but if it’s too far gone, he may need to extract it. 

6. Tooth decay

If you’ve ever had a cavity, you know about tooth decay. Excess plaque builds up on your teeth, eats away at the hard outer enamel, and forms a small hole called a cavity. Left untreated, the bacteria continue eroding your tooth, making it brittle, weak, and no longer able to function properly. Severe tooth decay may warrant an extraction.

7. Impaction

Sometimes, teeth grow in at an odd angle and push against a neighboring tooth. This condition is called impaction, and it typically affects the third set of molars, commonly called wisdom teeth. Not all wisdom teeth need to be pulled, but when they’re impacted or causing other dental issues, such as pain, infection, or crowding, Dr. Peterson often recommends extraction.

What to do with the gap left by an extraction

After a tooth extraction, you’ll have a gap that needs some attention. Missing teeth are more than just a cosmetic issue; they also open the door to bacteria buildup, shifting teeth, a misaligned bite, and jaw bone atrophy. 

Dr. Peterson guides you through your options for replacing the extracted tooth, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Each comes with specific advantages, and we can help you decide which is best for you.

If you need a tooth extraction, rest assured that Dr. Peterson keeps you calm and comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Call or click to schedule an appointment and find out more about your extraction and tooth replacement options at High Desert Dental today.