Tooth extraction is common, but for many people, the most jarring aspect of it is the loss of a tooth. However, the most important thing to remember about tooth extraction is that your dentist only recommends it when absolutely necessary. Typically, our goal is to help you preserve your healthy, natural tooth structure as much as possible. But under certain circumstances, you may need a tooth extraction to preserve the rest of your healthy smile.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the most frequently extracted teeth because they often cause problems with the rest of your oral health. Third molars often become misaligned as they try to erupt from the gum line, causing them to push against existing teeth. Their presence can lead to increasingly worse tooth misalignment, severe tooth damage, and the possible loss of one or more teeth.
Your teeth are supported by roots that rest in sockets within your jawbone and are held steady by healthy gums and periodontal ligaments. When these tissues become compromised, such as through gum disease, your teeth can become loose and move around when you bite and chew your food. If you don’t seek gum disease treatment as soon as possible, then it can become so severe that tooth loss or extraction is inevitable.
A cracked or fractured tooth can typically be restored with a dental crown or other restoration. But in some cases, the damage can be too great for your dentist to fix, in which case the tooth can become a liability to other teeth and surrounding oral tissues. To protect the rest of your smile, including the integrity of the rest of your teeth, your dentist may suggest extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with a durable, lifelike prosthetic (such as a dental implant and crown).
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