What’s the Point of Extracting a Tooth?

Restoring a tooth can sometimes seem complicated. If the tooth is severely fractured or broken, or if it’s in the grips of severe internal tooth decay, then it might seem like simply removing the tooth from the equation would be the easiest way to save your smile. However, that isn’t always the case, and typically, the goal of your dental treatment is to help you preserve as much healthy, natural tooth structure as possible. The point of tooth extraction is to remove a tooth that’s so severely compromised that it can’t be saved, before it has a chance to cause more harm to your oral health.

Considerations that come with tooth extraction

The reason tooth extraction isn’t the go-to solution for most oral health concerns is because of what it costs you. Tooth extraction does remove the problematic tooth and eliminates the need to restore it. However, it also means losing the natural tooth structure above and below your gum line, which can have several completely different consequences for your oral health. Losing the crown of the tooth will make it more difficult for your bite to find balance when you bite and chew. Losing the tooth’s root can create a void in your jawbone structure where the bone resorbs upon itself, causing the bone to lose mass and density over time.

When is removing the tooth a preferable option?

Because of the potential consequences of losing a tooth, choosing to extract one should only be the option in extreme cases. For example, if a tooth is so damaged that a custom-designed dental restoration, such as a lifelike dental crown, is unable to restore and save it, then it may be preferable to remove and replace it with a custom-designed dental prosthesis. The same may be true for a severely infected tooth whose healthy structure has been almost completely eroded. In some cases, a tooth can become impacted, as often occurs with wisdom teeth (or third molars), and extracting them is the only recourse for preventing the intense discomfort and dental damage that tooth impaction can lead to.

Can you replace the tooth afterward?

With the exception of an impacted wisdom tooth, which often occurs due to spacing issues on the dental ridge, most extracted teeth will have to be replaced in order to fully restore your smile. This answers the question that many patients have, which is how to preserve their smiles after they’ve chosen to have a natural tooth removed. With a dental implant-supported dental crown, for instance, you can replace both the root and the visible crown of your lost tooth. This restores your smile’s healthy, whole appearance, and also fills the void in your jawbone structure to help prevent it from losing strength over time.

Find out if your tooth needs to be extracted

Extracting a tooth might seem like the easiest solution in some cases, but there are good reasons why it’s only recommended in extreme circumstances. To learn more, call Cleveland Family Dentistry office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234.