In cases where a tooth has been damaged or is undergoing decay, a dentist may try to fix it by adding a filling, a new crown, or other type of treatment. However, the tooth may have undergone extensive decay such that the damage has spread to the nerves or gums. When the damage is too much to repair, the tooth may need to be extracted by a dentist.
A tooth extraction can take the form of a simple or surgical extraction. During a simple extraction, the tooth is simply loosened by a dentist and detached from the gums using forceps. During a surgical extraction, the tooth is detached from the gum line using a surgical procedure. This may be necessary when a tooth is broken off within the gum or decay has spread widely throughout the tooth.
So why is tooth extraction important?
Promoting the health of the mouth
A dentist may need to extract your tooth because it is infected and is likely to spread to other neighboring teeth. To prevent more damage, the tooth will be extracted and the affected area of the mouth treated. This will also make it possible for a new and healthy tooth to grow in its place, or an implant to be installed.
Removing extra teeth that affect growth
Some patients may experience teeth that have grown in the wrong position of the mouth. These teeth may prevent other new teeth from coming in, resulting in pain, incorrectly positioned teeth, and overcrowding of the mouth.
The teeth that have grown in the wrong position will need to be extracted to allow for the rest of the teeth to grow safely.
Failure of baby teeth to shed
Children typically experience the growth of a temporary set of teeth that are later replaced with a permanent set over the years. When a child's temporary teeth do not shed in time to be replaced with a permanent set, the child may experience teeth growing on top of each other in the mouth. This makes it necessary for a dentist to extract the temporary teeth and provide room for permanent teeth to grow.
When installing braces
For patients who require braces, tooth extraction is sometimes necessary to create enough room in the mouth for the repositioning of the existing teeth. A dentist may carefully extract teeth that are blocking the others from growing in the right position of the mouth before installing the braces.