Oral surgeons generally try to avoid tooth extraction whenever possible — we’d prefer that every patient keep all their natural teeth. And thanks to modern dentistry techniques, we can save most problem teeth.
But unfortunately, we can’t save every tooth. Below are five of the top indicators you may need an extraction.
No. 1: Your Tooth Is Decayed
When we catch it early, we can often repair the damage tooth decay causes. In fact, a filling or dental crown will usually work to restore the tooth.
However, if the decay isn’t treated soon enough, the tooth’s structure may be weakened. Left untreated, the decay will spread. For teeth that are beyond the point of saving, extraction is typically recommended.
No. 2: Your Tooth Is Infected
If bacteria gets inside one of your root canals, you may develop an infection. In many cases, root canal therapy can remedy this problem.
Sometimes, though, the damage is too far gone. When that happens, tooth extraction and replacement may be the best option for maintaining optimal oral health.
No. 3: Your Tooth Is Impacted
Teeth that are impacted, or stuck in the gums, may require extraction.
Oral surgeons work with orthodontists to save impacted canines, as the cuspids are crucial to a proper bite. Wisdom teeth that are impacted are usually removed. The third molars aren’t really necessary, and keeping them can lead to oral health problems later.
No. 4: You Have Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a leading cause of tooth loss. Without healthy gums, the teeth don’t have the foundation they need to hold them securely in place. Because the roots aren’t properly anchored, patients with advanced periodontitis often have loose teeth.
If advanced gum disease leaves one or more of your teeth without adequate support, tooth extraction may be unavoidable.
No. 5: Your Mouth Is Too Crowded
Having too many teeth can be an oral health problem.
Your primary teeth are supposed to fall out before the permanent teeth erupt. If any of yours remain in place, the dental arch may be overcrowded. For unyielding primary teeth, tooth extraction is a must.
In some cases, overcrowding isn’t caused by stubborn primary teeth. A small, underdeveloped jaw or teeth that are larger than their available space can also lead to a crowded mouth. This type of crowding is typically corrected through a combination of strategic tooth extractions and orthodontic treatment.
Oral Surgeons Are Tooth Extraction Experts
While general dentists can remove some problem teeth, oral surgeons have the experience and skills to handle complex extractions, and to deal with any complications that may arise. When necessary, oral surgeons can provide expert advice on dental implants and other replacement options for missing teeth.
If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, trust your oral health care to the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. You don’t have to live with problem teeth. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule a consultation for tooth extraction.