Getting a tooth pulled is no fun. But is there anything you can do to decrease the chances you will require a tooth extraction? Luckily, in many cases, the answer is yes.
Sometimes tooth extraction may be the best option for your treatment and a dental implant or bridge may be a possibility if a gap remains. Unfortunately, these options are rarely a perfect substitute for your natural tooth.
For this reason, it is a good idea to do everything you can to maintain healthy teeth and potentially avoid the need for a tooth extraction.
Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
The most common and also most preventable reason for tooth extraction is tooth decay or gum disease. Both of these issues occur slowly over a lot of time and, if caught early, can be successfully treated without resorting to tooth extraction.
Tooth decay begins at the surface of the teeth, or the enamel. This can be seen and treated when you get regular dental checkups. Left unchecked, however, decay can spread into the inner layers of the tooth and eventually require the tooth to be removed.
Similarly, if gum disease is caught early, it can be treated with minimal damage to the teeth. If left untreated, however, gum disease can result in receding gum tissue, infection, and degeneration of the bone supporting the teeth.
Crowded Teeth or Impaction
Another common reason for tooth extraction, especially in children, teenagers, and young adults, is overcrowding. Teeth may be removed to make room for others or as part of a teeth-straightening plan. Similarly, overcrowding can cause a tooth to be impacted, or not come through the gums properly. This is often the case with wisdom teeth. Tooth extraction for orthodontic purposes is not necessarily something to avoid and should not leave a gap or cause dental problems.
If a significant portion of a tooth breaks and little is left to allow for other treatment options, removal may be needed.
How to Avoid Tooth Extractions
While some cases are unavoidable, you may be able to prevent many of the circumstances that could lead to tooth extractions. Regular dental checkups, as well as good oral hygiene, are your best defense against conditions that could require tooth extraction.
Regular dentist visits
The absolute best way to prevent tooth extraction is by getting regular dental checkups. The most common causes of tooth extraction- tooth decay and gum disease- often take years to develop. These issues are usually easily identified during routine dentist visits. If treated early on, your dentist can address these problems before they require tooth extraction.
It is generally recommended that you get a regular dental checkup every six months, or twice a year. Your checkup will include cleaning as well as screening for conditions that could lead to tooth extraction.
A root canal can be one option to save an infected tooth instead of the eventual need for extraction. A root canal is a dental procedure where the dentist removes infected and/or inflamed pulp from inside the tooth. A root canal can alleviate tooth pain and treat tooth decay before the need for an extraction arises. In this case, your natural tooth can be preserved. Depending on the severity of the issue, a root canal could be a viable treatment option.
A fluoride treatment is a simple and easy way to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel to prevent cavities and halt the onset of early tooth decay. Fluoride treatments can be done at your regular dental visits.
Avoid the need for a tooth extraction by scheduling your regular dental checkup with Elite Dental & Denture today!