While dentists do their utmost to save teeth, there are some times when extracting a tooth becomes a necessity… not just an option for one to choose from. The question is: When is tooth extraction necessary? When does it go from something for a dentist or a specialist to mull over to them reaching for the proper equipment?.

There are two different types of tooth extractions – simple and surgical. The simple extraction is when the dentist or surgeon can use forceps to get the tooth out of its socket since it’s visible above the gumline and no tooth is waiting to grow in its place. The surgical one requires the surgeon to remove bone and/or gum tissue and then stitch up the area to make sure that the site heals properly.

The first thing that the dentist or surgeon will do is take an X-ray and consult it to decide whether it’s going to be a simple or surgical extraction.

Wisdom teeth are generally the first teeth to get removed. They can erupt out of their hiding places in the jaw at what seems like the worst time. The thing is – they show themselves in different ways. Some start cutting out of the gum tissue, causing great discomfort, while others begin crowding the rest of the teeth in that row, which can wind up looking quite unsightly. The dentist or oral surgeon will anesthetize the jaw and remove the tooth while stitching up the area. Follow the postoperative instructions or you risk infection or dry socket, both of which can be quite painful.

Impacted teeth, which often are wisdom teeth but can be others, can cause quite a problem in one’s mouth. It warrants removal, otherwise it may become intensely painful and uncomfortable. Infected teeth, thanks to periodontal disease which has rapidly progressed from gingivitis to far worse, are also candidates for removal since the surgeon has to clean out the infected area to prevent matters from getting worse in other parts of the mouth or jaw. This is usually the last option if root canal therapy or antibiotics don’t work. Also, if you have a weak immune system, this is done to keep an infection from taking root.

Sometimes one’s mouth can become quite overcrowded with teeth, which can be painful and also create an odd look with teeth pointing different ways. Extracting the tooth that’s causing the overcrowding can help one’s jaw settle back into a normal state. An orthodontist may have to do this procedure if you’re trying to straighten your teeth and the overcrowding situation makes that nearly impossible.

Another reason for tooth extraction could be from trauma, like an injury during a sporting event. The tooth might be far too damaged to be saved and the only way to make sure that the surrounding area can heal properly is to have the tooth removed.

Dr. Robert M. Trager at JFK-LGA Dentist has been practicing for many years. He’s an expert on recognizing when a tooth needs to be extracted, and he can do it with as little pain and discomfort as possible.