Tooth extractions involve the removal of one or more teeth, and are considered a last resort, since maintaining the presence of the natural tooth in the mouth is always preferred. Some reasons why extractions may be done include the impaction of wisdom teeth, significant tooth decay or to make space for an orthodontic device. The elimination of pain is the number one short-term benefit of tooth extraction, however, it means that patients will then have to figure out how to fill that gap, as the other teeth will move out of alignment to fill the void left behind by the extracted tooth.
Common reasons why a tooth extraction is performed include: Extra teeth - while not common, baby teeth occasionally don’t naturally shed, and the tooth needs to be removed in order to provide space for the other teeth to align properly. Significant decay - this is the most common reason why a dentist will perform a tooth extraction. The extraction is usually performed because the surface of the tooth and the pulp are both decayed. When this happens, a root canal cannot be performed, as the tooth should be in stable condition overall in order to undergo this procedure. Making room for braces - Certain orthodontic braces require that there be enough space for the teeth to move into to ensure proper alignment of the teeth. A tooth extraction may be performed if the space can’t be created naturally. Fractured teeth - In most cases, fractured teeth can be recovered with a root canal, but there may be situations in which the tooth is beyond repair, and require removal. In these instances, your dentist will remove the tooth and replace it with a prosthetic replacement. Periodontal disease - Gums and the bone structure underneath them may be so severely eroded that they cannot hold the tooth in place securely. This is usually caused by advanced gum disease, and the likelihood of restoring the natural tooth is low. A tooth extraction is necessary in these cases.
The procedure for a tooth extraction varies in its complexity, depending on the accessibility of the tooth. In simple extractions, the dentist applies anesthetic to the treatment site, and the fully emerged tooth is elevated with dental instruments, the periodontal ligament is severed and the tooth is removed with forceps. If the tooth is either inaccessible or invisible, a surgical extraction is required. An incision is made in the gum tissue and a drill removes a portion of the adjacent bone tissue. Occasionally, the tooth itself is split in a few pieces to be able to remove it completely.