Usually, it’s a good idea to try to save a tooth with a root canal, crown, or other restorative procedures rather than extract it. But there are times when an extraction is the best option. For instance, an extraction is often recommended when a tooth:
The decision to pull a tooth will only be made following a thorough exam to determine if another treatment option is possible.
In nearly every instance, having wisdom teeth extracted is a good idea. Sometimes, wisdom teeth come in at an angle, causing pressure on neighboring teeth that can weaken those roots and even result in tooth damage or loss. Other times, a wisdom tooth becomes impacted under a neighboring molar and needs to be removed to prevent more significant damage. Even if a wisdom tooth doesn't cause any issues when it emerges, removing it can still be a good idea. That’s because wisdom teeth are very hard to keep clean, and over time, they can become harbors for decay- and disease-causing bacteria. Removing the teeth eliminates places for bacteria to hide and helps improve overall oral health.
The method used to pull a tooth depends on the location of the tooth, why it’s being extracted, and other factors. In general, a simple extraction usually can be performed using special tools to gently elevate the tooth and remove it from the socket. But for teeth that are severely damaged, broken, or that have deep roots, gum incisions are usually required to reach the entire tooth and ensure complete removal.
Yes, a missing tooth should always be replaced. Once the tooth is removed, it leaves a space, and soon, neighboring teeth will begin to shift and lean into that space, weakening their roots and significantly increasing the risk of additional tooth loss. Plus, losing a tooth disrupts the natural bite balance, which can result in uneven tooth wear, a higher risk of tooth damage and decay, and chronic jaw pain and headaches. Missing teeth can be replaced with bridges, dentures, or dental implants.
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