Do I Need To Have My Tooth Extracted?

It may not sound appealing to hear that you need to have a tooth extracted; however, there are many scenarios where this may be the best option for you. Keep in mind that your dentist will do his or her best to keep as much of your tooth's structure as possible. But again, sometimes removing the entire structure is better to reduce complications. Here are some scenarios where you would benefit from tooth extraction:

Your Root Canal Has Failed

Root canals are common procedures that are generally successful. But they can fail if the patient has poor oral hygiene or has micro-fractures from teeth grinding (which degrade the sealant materials). Although the original infection may have been cleared out, keep in mind that gum disease and cavities can still develop in the tooth roots. If your root canal has failed, it may be better to have the tooth extracted to prevent further infection.

You've Developed an Abscess

Gingivitis, gum disease, trauma, and tooth decay can all cause a tooth abscess. An abscess is an infection at the root of your tooth. Many people who develop an abscessed tooth are actually happy to have an extraction since this condition is quite painful—especially when eating. Along with pain, you may experience general malaise, fever, oozing sores on your gums, sensitivity to cold or hot foods, and gum/jaw swelling. By having the tooth extracted, your dentist can thoroughly clean the area, and you can eliminate all of your symptoms.

There's an Infection that Could Spread to Other Teeth

Again, while a dentist will do everything in his or her power to save the structural integrity of your tooth, it isn't usually worth it if the tooth has an infection that could spread. By saving the infected tooth, you may set yourself up for having otherwise healthy tissues become infected. This infection could lead to gum disease and not just one, but multiple tooth extractions!

There is Tooth Crowding

Sometimes a tooth can come become displaced or twisted, causing it to crowd other teeth. For some people, this issue just causes cosmetic concerns, such as overbites. For others, though, overcrowded teeth can become painful. While many people only need extractions to prevent overcrowding from wisdom teeth, some people may need other teeth extracted if they have a small jaw or impacted teeth.

As you can see, many of these extraction scenarios have the great benefit of protecting your surrounding teeth. If you are in great pain, having a tooth extracted can be a relief. And even if you have a tooth extracted, you can look into prostheses and implants to restore the gap.