If you’ve been to our office, or even if you follow our blog then you know that we’re big proponents of keeping your natural teeth. But every once in a while there are times when it just isn’t possible to save your natural tooth, and you’ll need to have your tooth extracted.
So if you’re wondering where that line gets drawn, then read on!
Why do teeth need to be extracted?
The first thing that you have to understand is that teeth don’t just fall out on their own (unless it’s a baby tooth), or just randomly need to be extracted. It has nothing to do with age but has everything to do with your oral health.
There’s essentially three common reasons that a tooth would need to be extracted. And the first is the number one cause:
Tooth Extraction Due To Bacteria & Decay
In your mouth there’s bacteria called Biofilm, and they feed off of leftover sugar from the foods and drinks that you consume. The by-product is highly acidic and causes damage to your natural tooth structure forming cavities and to your gums causing you to develop a very serious condition called periodontal disease.
It’s when that bacteria is left undisturbed that you really begin to have problems. Which is exactly why you need to see the dentist at the recommended times and really step up your home care routines.
However, a tooth extraction may become necessary when that bacteria has gotten too deep inside the tooth to be salvaged (even with the help of getting a root canal). In other words, the decay is so bad that the tooth is rotten and needs to be removed.
This can also be the case when you have severe periodontal (gum) disease because that bacteria has destroyed the bone that is necessary to hold your teeth in place. Other diseases involve the bite on a tooth, muscular spasms, or an infection of the facial nerves (Trigeminal Neuralgia); all are good reasons to say goodbye to a problem tooth!
Tooth Extraction Due To Trauma
The second reason that a tooth may need to be extracted is due to trauma. Trauma can be an accident that you have. When the too much of the natural tooth has been broken or the tooth is cracked to be repaired with a filling, crown, or veneer then an extraction may be necessary.
Or the trauma can be from a misaligned bite that is causing you to grind or clench your teeth. If you do not wear an occlusal guard, or get treatment to correct this misalignment, with time, you will wear down the enamel of your teeth which makes your teeth more susceptible to cracking.
And cracked teeth are likely to be unsalvageable (not to mention painful).
Tooth Extraction Due To Crowding
Our philosophy is all about keeping your natural teeth & being proactive with your oral health. So, we don’t typically recommend that you have teeth pulled for orthodontic treatments, but there may be rare cases when this is necessary.
Your wisdom teeth are another thing that can cause you issues. Wisdom teeth are notorious for:
- Crowding adjacent teeth
- Not coming through on their own
- Coming through at an awkward angle
- Can be problematic to clean and maintain
When that is the case (because it’s not always the case), Dr. Powell will evaluate your specifics and help you determine if wisdom teeth extraction will be the best course of action for you.
Saving a Tooth vs. Pulling It
If you’re experiencing any pain, or are concerned about a broken tooth, it’s a good idea to come in and have Dr. Powell take a look. If he determines that the tooth can be saved then it’s likely that you will need additional treatment(s):
- A porcelain crown
- A veneer
- Bonding or Filling
- A root canal
- An occlusal guard
- Physiological Dentistry
What You Can Expect When You Have a Tooth Extracted
Of course, we want to help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime, but when that isn’t an option. Dr. Powell might recommend having a tooth pulled.
If your tooth needs to be pulled, the area will be numbed to lessen any discomfort you might otherwise experience. Dr. Powell uses an advanced local anesthesia system so that you don’t feel anything and you don’t need to be afraid. We’ve had many patients who used to be fearful but have overcome their fear due to our dentist’s and team’s expertise and the amazing technology that Dr. Powell has brought into his practice.
The procedure itself doesn’t take very long (however, wisdom teeth extraction are a little more involved). And since you are numb you won’t feel a thing! While you’re at our office you can even catch up on your latest Netflix show or movie. Or simply relax and choose any of the spa items from our comfort menu.
After a tooth is removed, you will be sent home with care instructions. You may feel a little tender but should be able to return to eating normal food after a few days. Some people do experience facial swelling, but others can resume normal daily activities after a day or two. You may feel great after having a tooth extracted, but it is recommended to take it easy for those few days during recovery.
Once you’ve completed the healing process, and depending on your specific needs, there are several options to replace the tooth that missing tooth. In a previous post, we discussed why it’s important not to leave gaps in your smile because it’s likely that it will cause you even more problems down the line.
Some of the most common options to replace missing teeth include:
- Dental Implant & Crown (mimics your natural tooth)
- Dental Bridge
So, as you can see sometimes a recommended tooth extraction ultimately benefits you by creating a healthier smile.
If a tooth is bothering you or you think that you may need to have teeth pulled, we recommend that you schedule an evaluation with Dr. Powell so that he can help you determine which course of action would best serve you. He’ll address your concerns & smile goals. This will help him come up with a custom treatment plan to get you to where you want to be. Delaying treatment costs you in pain, money, and time. So don’t put it off. Call (661) 349-7725 or request a reservation with us right now online.