No one wants to lose a tooth, but there are times when Extraction is the best possible course of action. In other cases, there may be treatments capable of saving a troubled tooth. How do you know when you should opt for extraction, and when you should work to find another solution?
When is Extraction the Only Option?
The American Dental Association suggests extraction is typically made necessary by crowding, disease or traumatic injury. Fillings, crowns and root canals can go a long way when it comes to saving teeth, but they’re not suited to every case. There are also times when teeth must be extracted because the bone supporting the tooth has been eroded by periodontal disease.
What about wisdom teeth? Is extraction always the only treatment? Most of the time, wisdom teeth grow in an awkward position behind molars. Some people are able to keep their wisdom teeth without crowding or other issues, but their positioning makes them difficult to keep clean enough to avoid decay.
Infection is another issue which can make it difficult to save a tooth. A root canal procedure can address the issue, but not if the damage is too extensive for the procedure to correct. When root canal therapy is not likely to succeed, your dentist may recommend extraction to prevent dangerous infections which can spread not only to other teeth but throughout the body.
What Should I Expect from Tooth Extraction?
Simple extractions happen in the office of your regular dentist, but surgical extractions can also be necessary in some cases. If the tooth is visible above the gum line with no damage to the structure likely to cause crumbling, cracking or breakage, it’s typically a viable candidate for simple extraction.
Surgical extraction is usually the best choice when an impacted tooth has not erupted, a tooth is broken below the gumline or when a tooth is so decayed it cannot withstand the pressure of forceps used to remove the tooth during a simple extraction procedure. There are other situations which call for surgical extraction, as well.
The best way to know what you should expect and how to proceed after tooth extraction is to communicate your questions and concerns to a qualified dentist. At Porter Smiles Dental, we understand the extraction process can be nerve-wracking, which is why we always strive to offer the very best in compassionate care. If you’re worried about the prospect of extraction, or if you’re hoping to save a tooth, call our office today to make an appointment with an expert care provider.