Thanks to modern dentistry, tooth removal, also known as tooth extraction is now a last resort and only occurs when there are no other procedures available to assist in restoring the natural tooth’s health. As Dentists, we’ll always aim to keep natural teeth as long as possible before recommending the removal of a tooth.
When would a tooth need to be removed?
The most common cause for tooth extraction isn’t actually to do with the tooth health itself, it’s to do with tooth alignment and space within the bite. Most tooth removals occur to wisdom teeth, as they commonly grow in misaligned and can cause pain and crowding within the mouth. For this reason, they are removed to alleviate the issue. Other similar reasons for tooth extraction is to make more room within the mouth for tooth alignment.
This may occur to teenagers or young adults before receiving braces or other straightening methods.
A less common cause for tooth extraction in modern dentistry is if the tooth is damaged beyond repair. This damage could be caused from cracking or breaking, or from infection and rot within the tooth leading to severe gum disease. Root canal is a common procedure for infected teeth, however if the tooth does not respond to this option, the next step is removal.
Procedure for tooth removal
There are two procedural options for tooth removal, depending on the position of the particular tooth within your mouth. If a tooth is visible in the gum line, or has already grown in, it can be extracted by using forceps, which is referred to as a simple extraction. If a tooth has not yet grown through the gums and requires bone or gum tissue removal as part of the extraction process, this is referred to as a surgical extraction. Before any extraction procedure your dentist will take a comprehensive X-ray to assess the area and the best process for removal. This will determine whether the tooth will require a simple or surgical extraction. Surgical extractions can be required on some teeth above the gum line, if they have a curved root, are severely broken or have issues with the bone around the tooth.
Your dentist will discuss options with you before proceeding, and will use anaesthetic for the procedure to minimise discomfort. Most surgical removals will require stitches after the procedure, and post-extraction instructions on how to keep the area free from infection whilst it heals.
How to avoid removal of teeth
The best way to avoid any unnecessary teeth extractions is to keep a healthy dental routine, with regular visits to the dentist. Gum disease can lead to issues within the bone structure and gums holding the tooth in place, which can in turn lead to an extraction being required.
By keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can avoid gum disease and breeding of bacteria’s that could cause teeth to rot. During your regular dental check-up, your dentist will complete an X-ray to check that there are no issues with wisdom teeth or bones under the surface of the gums that could require an extraction.
To book in your next check-up, visit www.myaffordabledentists.com.au