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Everything You Need to Know about a Tooth Extraction

Woman visiting the dentist 

A tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from your mouth. While a tooth extraction certainly isn’t ideal, we do everything possible to ensure that you’re comfortable. First, let’s start with four of the most common reasons you might need a tooth extraction.

4 Reasons You Might Need a Tooth Extraction

1. You Break Most or All of Your Tooth

The dentist may not be able to piece your tooth back together, especially if it's broken into multiple parts. A simple or surgical extraction takes the remaining pieces out, and you may end up getting a bridge or dental implants in the future depending on the location and type of tooth.

2. Your Tooth is No Longer Healthy

Decay that has destroyed too much of the healthy tooth structure or gum disease that has destroyed enough bone to the point that the tooth is no longer supported are both reasons people need to have tooth extractions.

3. Your Wisdom Teeth Are Growing the Wrong Way

Sometimes, wisdom teeth have a mind of their own and grow sideways, up into the sinus cavity, or into other badly placed locations. They could be impacted or do not have space to maintain properly. If your dentist X-rays your mouth and notes that these back teeth are exhibiting this issue, you probably need to get them extracted before they crowd other teeth or cause other health concerns.

Your dentist might also suggest the removal of your wisdom teeth if there are issues with overcrowding.

4. A Cracked Tooth Progressively Gets Worse

A crack that doesn't go all the way through a tooth can often be fixed without a problem. However, some cracks don't exhibit symptoms, so you have no idea that they're there. They progress over time until the tooth is completely divided. Your dentist could recommend an extraction when extensive cracking damages the structural integrity of the tooth material.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Common Dental Procedures

Types of Tooth Extractions

Simple Extraction

This kind of extraction is performed for those whose teeth have already erupted and present with minimal complications. The tooth is able to be removed in a routine way.

Surgical Extraction

This type of procedure is done for teeth that are more complicated to remove. Complications include un-erupted teeth, teeth broken at the gum level, or teeth with curved roots. Bone will need to be removed next to the tooth to remove the tooth, and most often we will place a stitch to promote proper healing.

After the Tooth Extraction

You have a large, empty socket in your mouth once the tooth is gone. During the recovery period, a condition called dry socket is your biggest concern. However, as you recover, your dentist will give advice of things to-do and things not-to-do to ensure a painless recovery! While it may seem like an invasive procedure, tooth extractions are sometimes the best thing to do to maintain ultimate oral health. 

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