When a Tooth Needs to be Removed
Although no one wants to lose a tooth, in certain situations your dentist may suggest the option to “extract,” or “pull,” a tooth. Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.
Reasons for tooth extraction can vary, and may include:
• In children, sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out in time to allow the permanent teeth to come in.
• When planning for braces, teeth may need to be extracted in order to create room for the movement of teeth.
• If a tooth is broken or too damaged by decay to be repaired, the tooth needs to be extracted. In this case, your dentist will offer options for tooth replacement.
• Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the four permanent adult teeth furthest back in the mouth and last to erupt, usually between the ages of 17-25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth, while others may have anywhere from 1 to 4. Wisdom teeth are sometimes impacted because there is not enough room in the mouth for them to grow. Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful, and may result in a variety dental problems. Your dentist or oral surgeon will recommend removing them to prevent potential issues.
• Drugs associated with treatment for cancer, as well as radiation to the head and neck, can weaken the immune system, and may cause teeth to become infected and require extraction.
10 Tips for a Healthy Smile
• Brush your teeth twice a day
• Floss every day—yes, every day!
• Use a toothpaste with fluoride
• Brush your tongue, too
• Rinse with mouthwash
• Limit your sugar intake
• Avoid drinking anything but water after brushing before bedtime
• Be aware of any unusual changes in your mouth, teeth or gums
• Stay away from tobacco use
• Plan a dental visit every six months