As dental professionals, our first priority will always be to help restore, save and repair your natural teeth. However, sometimes a tooth extraction is unavoidable. If it is the case that a tooth cannot be saved, we will do everything in our power to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
Does My Tooth Really Need to Be Pulled?
It depends. Depending on the level of damage, it is sometimes possible to save the tooth through a root canal, crown, or other procedures. Some common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Severe Tooth Damage: Some teeth have such extensive decay and damage that a repair is not possible. Sometimes, we may attempt a repair (such as a crown), and the patient will report that they still feel pain. This is because the tooth is a vast network of interconnected nerves, and a root canal does not totally remove all sources of discomfort.
- Advanced Periodontal Disease: As gum disease, also called periodontal disease, advances, the tooth becomes less and less supported by surrounding bone. In some cases, the tooth loosens to such an extent that extraction is the only solution.
- Malpositioned/Nonfunctioning Teeth: Teeth which are malaligned and/or nonfunctioning (lacking opposing teeth to bite against) may need to be removed. Some orthodontic treatments may also require an extraction in order to create needed space for improved teeth alignment.
- Extra Teeth: Also referred to as supernumerary teeth, extra teeth may block other teeth from emerging.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of tooth infections and heightening the risk of extraction. Head and neck radiation therapy may also require tooth extraction in order to help avoid possible complications.
The only way we can know for sure if your tooth requires pulling is to examine it in person. If you are experiencing tooth pain, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner you stop in, the more likely it is that we can save your tooth!