While most dentists will do anything possible to save a tooth, it is not always possible. Extractions are sometimes the only treatment that can be done for a tooth that has is a deep stress fracture, a substantial amount of decay, or is severely broken.
What are Extractions?
An extraction is the process of removing a tooth or piece of root from the oral cavity. The most common type of extraction is the removal of the wisdom teeth. Most people have their wisdom teeth extracted when they are teenagers or young adults. These teeth often erupt horizontally, creating pressure and pain on the teeth in front of them, which can eventually lead to an infection and/or crooked teeth.
Another reason a person may have teeth extracted is as a precursor to orthodontic* treatment. Dentists may recommend certain teeth be removed as part of their overall plan to create more room in the mouth to straighten the other teeth.
In most other cases, primarily among adults, teeth must be extracted due to decay or a trauma to the jaw. When a tooth has an extensive amounts of decay or has a fracture line that reach down to the root, the tooth is no longer salvageable and must be taken out to keep an infection from developing and spreading into the jaw.
Tooth Extraction Procedures
The most difficult part of the extraction procedure is making sure that all options to save the tooth have been considered. Before your dentist performs an extraction, be sure they have discussed with you all these options. If an extraction is the only alternative, the procedure itself is quite simple. While extracting impacted wisdom teeth is a bit more involved, the extraction of a tooth that is already erupted in the mouth is generally a quick procedure once the area is completely numb. With the right anesthetic and instruments, it is also painless.