Reasons for Tooth Extractions

Dentists don’t simply pull teeth. Many consider tooth removal as a last resort in treating a dental problem. In fact, it’s generally only reserved for patients with dental concerns that no other treatment will work to solve the issue. There are times when leaving the affected or damaged tooth in place may bring more harm than good. Here are the common reasons for tooth extractions:


  1. Irreparable Tooth Damage. Your tooth needs to be removed if it’s been damaged beyond repair. Irreparable tooth damage can be due to severe decay and trauma from accidents or sports. Tooth extraction may also be the only course of action for people with severe gum disease. If the gums become less effective at supporting the tooth, then the affected tooth will have to be pulled. Won’t a dental crown help? If there’s not enough gum tissue for your dentist to work with, there won’t be ample foundation on which to rebuild the tooth. A crown needs a sufficient amount of healthy tissue for support.

  2. Severe Tooth Infection. A tooth infection refers to a collection of pus and bacteria forming inside your gum or tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of your body, leading to severe and even fatal complications. There are a few treatments for mild to moderate tooth infection. Advanced cases are different as the dental pulp is severely abscessed and inflamed. When this happens, antibiotics can no longer adequately reach the infected tissue and clear the problem. While a root canal treatment may be an option for repairing the damage caused by deep infection, an extraction may be necessary if the abscess has become widespread and the tissue will not heal.

  3. Impacted Tooth. Impaction occurs when your tooth doesn’t erupt through your gums at the expected time. There are a couple of reasons why your tooth may have trouble coming out. It could be because the impacted tooth is growing in the wrong direction. Impaction also occurs when there’s not enough space between your teeth for it to erupt. This is often the case for wisdom teeth. Your dentist may recommend for the impacted tooth to be pulled to reduce the risk of overcrowding or infection. This way, they can prevent it from causing damage to other teeth.

  4. Non-Functional Tooth. There are cases when a tooth may no longer be able to work. This can happen if it’s found severely out of position or if they’re just an extra, preventing future teeth from coming through as expected. Non-working teeth may also include those that have no matching tooth for it to bite against.

  5. Special Dental Treatment. For some people who require orthodontic treatments like getting braces, the dentist may have to extract a tooth. This way, they can make room for the appliance to be used or provide sufficient space for better alignment of the teeth that need treatment. For those who need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy, tooth extraction may also be advised. These treatments can cause a reduced immune system, increasing the patient’s risk of infections.


At O.C. Lakes Dental, our goal is to save your tooth from being pulled whenever possible. Schedule your consultation with our dentists today in Irvine, California. We can determine if your condition and overall health will allow for other restorative options. Call us at (949) 356-7860 to make an appointment.

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