At one time or another, you’ve problem heard someone describe something difficult as being “like pulling teeth.”
That’s probably because he or she isn’t a patient at our dentist office in San Antonio, TX. At Advanced Dental Associates, teeth extractions are easy for patients to handle.
Even though we would prefer to help you preserve as many of your teeth as possible, there are times with tooth removal is the best option for your oral health. When those times arise, we will do everything we can to make the process convenient and comfortable for you.
Four Reasons To Remove Teeth
We want to stress that pulling teeth is usually a last resort. If your teeth can be saved, we will recommend this in most instances. Tooth removal, while necessary at times, should be rare.
With all this said, here are four reasons, you may need to have a tooth or teeth removed.
▸ 1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious headaches — literally and figuratively. An impacted tooth is one that is not able to erupt correctly.
Unfortunately, a majority of people are likely to deal with some kind of issue as their wisdom teeth start to erupt. When a tooth is impacted, it’s not able to come in like it should. Whether a tooth is partially impacted (meaning it breaks the surface of the gums) or fully impacted (meaning it remains below the gumline), similar problems can occur.
In addition to being painful, impacted teeth can push into nearby teeth. This can change the alignment of your smile and possibly your bite. This also may leave your mouth more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.
Wisdom teeth usually erupt in a patient’s late teens or early 20s. With regular exams (including digital X-rays), we can track how your wisdom teeth are progressing. As a result, we can usually identify potential problems in time to prevent long-term consequences.
▸ 2. Broken or cracked teeth
The severity of your injury and how soon you seek treatment can make a big difference in whether a tooth can be saved.
Many times, a dental crown is all you need to repair and restore your tooth.
Yet, a deep break or crack can expose the pulp of your tooth to bacteria. This can lead to an infection. Even so, a root canal may be a better alternative than tooth removal much of the time.
Nevertheless, there will be times when the break or crack has weakened the structure of the tooth to a point at which it cannot be saved. These are times when we would suggest a tooth extraction instead.
▸ 3. Severe tooth infections
As we mentioned above, tooth infections often can be fixed with a root canal procedure. Unfortunately, ignoring the symptoms of an infected tooth can lead to a severe infection.
Just a deep break or crack, a root canal is not going to be enough for this kind of problem. Again, this is a time when tooth removal could be the best way to save your smile in the long run.
▸ 4. Severe gum disease
Many people are not aware that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. As a result, too many people neglect to care for the gums like they should.
Since gum disease often is not painful (at least in the early stages), it can advance quite a bit before you feel compelled to seek treatment. If you wait too long, your teeth may be at risk of falling out. Sometimes, this will require removing teeth.
Remove & Replace
With the exception of wisdom teeth, most of the time we will recommend replacing the teeth that have been removed.
With modern teeth replacement options, such as dental implants, your can restore your smile along with the function of your missing teeth. By replacing your extracted teeth, you may be saving the teeth you have left, too.
At Advanced Dental Associates, if we see a way to save your tooth, that’s will be our preferred option. If we recommend tooth removal, it’s for a good reason.