Why Dental Extractions Are Sometimes Necessary

dental extractions

At Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we know just how important your teeth are and try to avoid dental extractions. We do all that we can to treat cavities and perform root canals in order to save your teeth and keep that smile bright for years to come. Unfortunately, sometimes dental extractions are necessary to avoid damage to the surrounding teeth and gums. A tooth may need to be extracted if:  1) the tooth is too damaged for repair; 2) the pulp of the tooth has an infection; 3) advanced periodontal disease and decay are present; 4) and if your mouth is too crowded (such as with wisdom teeth). The most important step you can take to avoid an extraction is to take care of your teeth through frequent daily brushing and flossing to prevent tooth decay. If you suffer from tooth pain, sensitivity, burning, swelling or tooth decay, we urge you to make an appointment with our office today. We can help you with your tooth extraction and even simple cleanings to keep your oral health in check.


Before We Turn To Dental Extractions

Sometimes tooth decay just happens. Maybe you haven’t been taking as good of care of your teeth as you were supposed to. Or maybe you have weak tooth enamel and decay just comes easier to you. No matter the reason, we do all that we can to correct tooth decay before it gets to the point where a tooth extraction is necessary. During your exam, we will use x-rays, probing tools and even laser cavity detection to view the inside and outside of your teeth. With our laser cavity detection machine, we can use light waves to reflect light off of your teeth. A healthy tooth will absorb the light but a cavity will reflect the light. We can then go in and treat your dental caries before they get worse. A dental carie is the term for tooth decay or a cavity. When plaque remains on the teeth (such as from not brushing or flossing), it mixes with bacteria to form an acidic substance. This substance can seep into the tooth, eroding the hard outer enamel and getting into the inner pulp of the tooth where decay can spread and cause infection. You want to avoid the decay reaching the pulp of the tooth. That is why it’s so important to brush and floss your teeth often!

For teeth with severe tooth decay, we will try to save your smile with a root canal. This is when tooth decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, which is the live tissue that contains nerve endings, blood vessels and the area that also nourishes the tooth. For a root canal, we will usually treat teeth that have severe pain, an abscess (pus-filled infection), swelling, inflammation, bone loss, and infection surrounding the teeth and gums. This is a more lengthy procedure because we do all that we can to avoid a dental extraction.


Why Dental Extractions Are Sometimes Necessary

Sometimes tooth decay, gum disease or injury is too severe and a dental extraction becomes necessary. We ONLY extract a tooth when it is too damaged to be repaired or if leaving it in will cause more damage to the surrounding teeth and gums. We are very skilled and highly trained to treat your teeth before this stage occurs, so we use it as a last resort. A dental extraction may become necessary if you have one of the following problems:

  • The tooth is too damaged for repair. We will have to remove and replace the tooth if it is too decayed to support normal chewing and other activities. But, replacement tooth means that you won’t have a hole in your smile, which is still a win!
  • The mouth is too crowded. Not all of your teeth may fit in your mouth due to a narrow bridge. Wisdom teeth are often removed because they will crowd the teeth, damage the surrounding tooth structures and gums or will misalign the teeth.
  • The teeth are misaligned. Misaligned teeth can crack and break easier from the pressure of the jaw and problems with grinding (bruxism). Tooth decay happens much more easily with these teeth, sometimes requiring an extraction.
  • You have a fractured tooth. We will try to fix the tooth with fillings and crowns first, but some fractures require the removal of the tooth completely, especially if the fracture is below the gum line.
  • You have advanced gum disease. This is also known as periodontal disease and causes the gums to recede and loosen around your tooth, leading to tooth loss in most cases anyways.
  • An infection has reached the tooth pulp. This means that an infection from tooth decay has reached the marrow of the tooth. We can sometimes fix this with a root canal but at later stages of infection, the tooth is unresponsive to antibiotics and root canal therapy.


Why We Need To Extract A Tooth

Some people may be more susceptible to infection if they suffer from congenital heart defects or conditions, Cirrhosis (liver disease), artificial joints or damaged or artificial heart valves, or a weak immune system. Certain health conditions affect our oral health, so we take extra precaution with these patients. When a tooth needs to be removed, we do so quickly and efficiently, as it is important to the health of our patients. Infections often follow tooth decay, and we would never want an infection to reach your bloodstream, which could cause severe sickness or other life-threatening complications. However, we do offer dental implants to help replace the tooth that was extracted. Dental implants can help preserve or restore your facial structure and keep your remaining teeth sturdy and strong. An implant will also stop bone loss and gum recession in the area you lost a tooth and restore your chewing and speaking ability if that was lost. Dental implants can be made to look exactly like your natural teeth as well, so this is a wonderful option if a dental extraction was necessary.


Call for a Dental Extractions Consultation

At Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we strive to help every patient keep every single tooth in their mouth and keep them healthy. It’s what we do! We know just how important oral health is for overall health and wellness, not to mention confidence. If you have been experiencing tooth pain or other symptoms, it’s important to contact us right away so we can help preserve your tooth the best we can. Call us at (970) 223-8425 to schedule your appointment today or simply to learn more about our tooth extraction procedures. A healthier smile and a healthier you is just one call away!