Seventy four percent of all adults have had to have a tooth extracted. There are six plausible reasons for permanent tooth extraction throughout a person’s lifetime. As children approach their teen years, some have excessive crowding of their teeth that won’t be fixed because, as determined by specific x-rays and measurements, their jaws won’t ever grow enough to accommodate them. Selective removal, followed by orthodontic treatment, solves this problem. Similarly, youth in the latter years of high school start to have third molars, conventionally nicknamed “wisdom teeth”, grow in behind their existing molars. Third molars have a mind of their own. Sometimes these teeth are large or positioned at an angle that cannot remain clean, even with routine tooth brushing. Some cause chronic pressure or headaches. However, with fastidious brushing, many third molars will last a long time.
Trauma is another reason for extractions, such as a car crash or team sport when someone receives a physical blow to the lower half of their face. Sometime, the teeth will feel fine in a few days, but the impact to them causes the nerve to die. Over time, this creates a sack of pus at the end of the teeth roots, known as an “apical abscess”. These must be treated with a root canal procedure, discussed below, with the damaged nerves removed from the teeth. Another form of trauma occurs when biting down on a rigid item, often unintentionally. This can crack a tooth from top to bottom, something that cannot be repaired, so the tooth needs extraction.
An apical abscess also occurs when tooth decay progresses into the nerve chamber of a tooth. X-rays often reveal this problem to dentists. They drill through the filling or tooth structure to find the infection, clean out all the debris created, sterilize the inner chamber of the tooth and roots, and then fill it with a strong core material. The procedure, called a root canal, allows a non-vital tooth to remain in place, functioning as before. Sometimes, teeth with root canals become brittle, so the dentist recommends a “crown” to surround them. If the patient opts for no crown, the tooth might break or, infrequently, the body doesn’t heal correctly from the infection that was removed. The tooth then needs extraction.
Finally, teeth must be extracted if the bone and gum tissue holding them in place are missing or diseased, known as Periodontal Disease. This occurs, most often, when people do not maintain proper home care procedures to remove dental plaque (bacteria) daily, or when they skip or extend the time between their professional dental cleanings, where hard-to- reach, calcified build up (named tartar or calculus) is removed by a dental hygienist.
We can help arrest your Tooth Extractions and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (773) 582-0035.