While many individuals have an aversion or fear of going to the dentist, even more dread the idea of having a tooth pulled or extracted. At Perfect Hollywood Smile, we understand these fears and do whatever is needed to calm our patients so they feel as little discomfort as possible during their extractions procedures. Interestingly enough, the practice of extracting teeth dates back to ancient times, when teeth were removed in order to treat disease and sickness. However, the experience is far less unpleasant than it was centuries ago before anesthesia was invented. And with sedation dentistry, it has become easier and less painful.
Reasons for Extracting Teeth
We used to assume that as a we got older, the risk of losing our natural teeth increased. However, with the advancements in dentistry and dental technologies over the past half century or so, we are losing fewer teeth as we age. In fact, statistics show that 75% of people in the United States, aged 65 or older, still have all or at least some of their teeth. However, there are times when extractions cannot be avoided. And that is when you need an experienced dentist to complete the procedure.
Granted, our primary goal, here at Perfect Hollywood Smile, is to save teeth whenever possible. But some of the more common reasons that we may need to pull a tooth or teeth include:
Compromised immune system – Many dentists will perform an extraction if the risk or potential for infection exists. You oftentimes see this when a person’s immune system has been compromised after an organ transplant or during chemotherapy. In many cases where a person is being treated for cancer, you will find a dentist on their medical team for this very reason.
Decay or trauma – When a tooth gets damaged because of decay or trauma, most dentists will try to repair it and save it. For instance, they may put a crown on the tooth if its structure has been compromised, or put a filling in it to prevent it from decaying any further. But, when the damage is too extensive, the only option is to extract it.
Gum or periodontal disease – This is one of the main reasons that people lose teeth. One out of every two US adults (50%), 30 years old or older, has gum disease. Bacterial toxins cause the bone and connective tissue of your teeth to break down and pull away from them. This creates pockets for infections to grow in. Over time, your teeth will become loose and extractions may be required to correct the situation.
Infection – When damage or decay spreads into the tooth’s center or pulp, the growth of bacteria can cause it to become infected. In some cases, endodontic therapy or a root canal is the prescribed course of action. However, if antibiotics and a root canal fail to clean out the infection, extractions will stop the infection from growing and spreading.
Overcrowding – Sometimes we perform extractions because a tooth is hindering the alignment of your other teeth. This is a common practice when individuals are getting fitted with braces, or are having another orthodontic procedure performed. In many cases, alignment is compromised by overcrowding, or having too many teeth. This provides the space needed for properly aligning one’s teeth.
Naturally, our dentists will try to avoid performing extractions; but sometimes we may have no other choice. For more information regarding this issue, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Perfect Hollywood Smile today.