Your teeth are designed to go the distance, but problems can arise along the way that call for extraction. From wisdom teeth that it’s no longer wise to keep to infections that cause irreparable damage to your teeth, sometimes tooth extraction is the best way to preserve your dental health.
When it comes time to extract a tooth, look no further than the experienced team of dental experts here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists. While our overriding mission is to preserve your dental health, sometimes the best way to do that is to eliminate the liabilities in your mouth through extraction.
Here’s a look at when tooth extraction makes good dental sense.
Wisdom teeth — often unwelcome late comers
The reason your third molars are referred to as wisdom teeth is because they’re the last teeth to come in during your life — usually between the ages of 17 and 21 — when you’re, presumably, more wise.
These latecomers to your mouth, however, can be quite problematic and lead to:
- Impaction — the tooth doesn’t erupt or only partially erupts
- Poor position — the tooth may come in crooked
- Crowding — there’s not enough room in your jawbone to accommodate the teeth
Our concerns here are twofold: 1) An impaction can lead to painful infections in your gums and teeth; and 2) The wisdom tooth doesn’t line up properly, making it hard to clean around that tooth and neighboring teeth. In these cases, we want to safeguard the health of your existing teeth and save you from future problems with your wisdom teeth.
The fact is that wisdom teeth aren’t really necessary for chewing, so if we recommend extracting your wisdom tooth (or teeth), you won’t feel much of a difference in terms of function.
Advanced tooth decay or infection
Another reason why we turn to tooth extraction is to remove a tooth that’s been irreversibly damaged by tooth decay or a root canal infection. For example, an infection in your root canal that goes unchecked can lead to your tooth cracking, making it unsalvageable. This same holds true of tooth decay that runs rampant and destroys too much of your tooth.
Another reason why we may extract teeth is to make room for dental devices, such as orthodontics or dentures.
Extraction isn’t so bad
If we find that you have a tooth that’s more of a liability than an asset, we assure you that tooth extraction isn’t so bad. First, we use anesthesia to make sure that you’re perfectly comfortable during your procedure. Second, it takes us only minutes to extract a tooth. Lastly, if you follow our aftercare instructions, your extraction site should heal quickly.
If you want to learn more about tooth extraction and when it makes good dental sense, please contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081, or you can book an appointment with us online.