When Is Tooth Extraction Needed?

Wisdom Teeth

Tooth extraction

One of the main goals of modern dentistry is to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible — a lifetime, we hope. That’s why we’re always reminding you to brush, floss, and come in for regular examinations and cleanings. But sometimes, one or more of the teeth may need to be extracted (removed). This may become necessary for several reasons.

Trauma — a sharp blow to the mouth in sports, for example — might cause a tooth to chip or crack. We would like to save the tooth via a crown, a root canal, or both. But sometimes, depending on the damage sustained, it just isn’t possible. Disease or decay may also make it impractical to save a natural tooth. In these situations, it may be preferable to replace the tooth with a durable, natural-looking dental implant.

There are other good reasons for extracting a tooth. During orthodontic treatment, one or more teeth may need to be removed to alleviate the condition known as crowding: That’s when the dental arches (jaws) simply don’t have enough space to accommodate all the teeth. Also, impacted wisdom teeth, and baby teeth that don’t fall out on their own, sometimes interfere with other nearby teeth, nerves or important structures in the mouth; they may need to be extracted too.