When Is Tooth Extraction Really Necessary?

Is tooth extraction always necessary if you have a severe toothache or other dental problem?

Necessary Tooth Extraction

Although this was the common school of thought for decades, that is not necessarily the case today.

In fact, pulling a tooth is typically considered a last resort. Dental professionals prefer to preserve natural teeth whenever possible.

Can Treatment Save You from Tooth Extraction?

If you develop sudden or severe pain in a tooth or any part of your mouth, don’t delay in scheduling an appointment with your dentist.

Typically, the dentist will examine your teeth, gums and mouth, and take X-rays to determine the cause of the pain. If your pain is the result of a cavity, a filling could be an effective treatment option. For teeth that have extensive decay, however, a crown may be necessary instead.

When decay has spread to the inner pulp, a root canal may be recommended. A root canal also can repair an infected tooth. With this treatment, the diseased or decayed tissues are removed and replaced with a filling.

In most cases, your family dentist can handle these treatment approaches. If the problem exceeds the dentist’s scope of expertise, however, it’s time to involve an oral surgeon.

When a Tooth Extraction Is a Must

Fillings, crowns and root canals can be highly successful in many cases, but these procedures are not always the right courses of action. In certain situations, oral surgeons generally recommend an extraction rather than treatment.

If the decay has progressed to the point where it affects the root structure of the tooth, an extraction may be necessary. Severely fractured or damaged teeth frequently cannot be restored, as they do not have the proper root support.

Tooth extraction also may be recommended if you have advanced gum disease or an infection that cannot be cured with antibiotics.

Each of these conditions can have a significant impact on your overall health as well as your oral health, and pulling the tooth may be the safest course of action.

Restoring Your Smile after a Tooth Extraction

If you must have a tooth extraction, your oral surgeon will likely recommend that you replace the missing tooth as quickly as possible, to avoid complications.

Leaving a tooth-sized gap in your smile causes the neighboring teeth to shift from their original positions. This, in turn, could affect your bite and result in further damage to your teeth, gums and jaw.

Even worse is that when your natural tooth is gone, the jawbone begins to deteriorate in that location. For that reason, dental implants are often the preferred method of tooth replacement.

Unlike bridges and dentures, implants actually help prevent bone loss. In addition, dental implants fit, feel and function just like real teeth, so they are much more comfortable, stable and easy to care for than bridges and dentures.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we strive to retain your natural teeth whenever possible. When we can’t, we offer a full range of options for restoration. Contact our Salt Lake City office today to learn more about restoration and tooth extraction.