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Dental x-ray of teeth needing extraction

Tooth extraction, which involves removing a tooth from its socket in the bone, is not typically the first line of treatment for dental problems, but it may become necessary under certain circumstances.

With tooth decay affecting 90% of adults and gum disease impacting almost 50% of adults in the U.S., many people will likely face a situation where extraction is the best or only option. These common dental conditions can advance to stages where preserving the natural tooth is no longer viable, making tooth extraction essential to prevent further oral health deterioration.

Understanding when and why an extraction is needed can help ease anxiety about this standard dental procedure to ensure you get the oral health care you need.

Why Tooth Extractions Are Necessary

Some of the key reasons why removing a tooth might be the best option for maintaining dental health and overall well-being, include:

  • Severe Decay: The most common reason for extracting a tooth is severe decay that has damaged a tooth beyond repair. When a cavity progresses without treatment, it can destroy a large portion of the tooth’s structure and infect the nerve in the root (a condition known as an abscess). Extraction might be the only solution if root canal therapy cannot save the tooth.
  • Periodontal Disease: Periodontal (gum) disease can cause the gums to recede and the supporting tissues and bones to deteriorate. This deterioration can lead to loose teeth that need to be extracted if periodontal treatments like scaling and root planing or gum grafting cannot restore the tissue’s health.
  • Impacted Teeth: Teeth blocked from erupting through the gum (a condition that often affects your wisdom teeth) are termed “impacted.” These teeth can cause pain and swelling and lead to infection or damage adjacent teeth. Removing impacted teeth can prevent these complications.
  • Overcrowding: Sometimes, teeth are removed to resolve overcrowding and prepare the mouth for orthodontic treatment. If the teeth are too big for the mouth, it can be impossible to align them properly. Extracting one or a few teeth can provide the space needed to move the remaining teeth into better positions.
  • After an Accident: Accidents like sports injuries, car crashes, or falls can cause severe dental trauma that might require tooth extraction. If a tooth is broken below the gum line or too damaged to fix, it may need removal. This helps make room for a dental implant to restore your tooth’s function and appearance.
  • Risk of Infection: Even a small risk of infection from a decaying tooth might mean it needs to be extracted for patients undergoing chemotherapy or those with weakened immune systems. These individuals are more vulnerable to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, so even a minor threat to their health shouldn’t be ignored.

Protect Your Oral Health With Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center

Tooth extraction is a routine procedure that can improve dental health and alleviate discomfort. If you’re facing a potential extraction, understanding why you need one can help you prepare and ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health.

If you have severe tooth decay, gum disease, or another serious dental issue, contact the Smile On Chicago Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center team to book your appointment. Our experienced professionals will thoroughly assess your oral health to determine if an extraction is the right dental option.

Be proud of your smile.