Why Does My Dentist Want to Pull My Tooth?
Understanding Tooth Extraction
Having your dentist recommend a tooth extraction can be an overwhelming experience. You might feel confused as to why it can’t be fixed, frustrated that your tooth can’t be saved, and even a little anxious about what this will mean for the future of your smile. For a very troublesome tooth, you might even feel oddly excited about permanently ending your terrible toothache.
However tooth extraction makes you feel, fully understanding why a dentist may recommend this procedure can help ease your worries or confusion. Here are a few common questions about tooth extraction we hear from patients in your same situation.
Why would my dentist recommend tooth extraction?
Dentists help us save our teeth from damage, decay, and loss through preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. Sometimes that may mean that a particularly bad tooth needs to be removed to preserve the rest of your smile.
Tooth extractions are never taken lightly by any dentist. They are considered a last-ditch effort to help a patient and halt any further damage from tooth decay, infections, and gum disease.
How does my dentist know my tooth can’t be saved?
Your dentist will know a tooth can’t be saved through a careful examination of your smile and digital X-rays of the tooth. They will use these factors along with their experience to make a final decision.
With that being said, know that you can always ask your dentist why they’re recommending an extraction. The dentists at Berrien Dental love to answer questions and never want to move forward with any treatment until a patient understands why it’s necessary. We’ll never remove a tooth until you’re comfortable and confident moving forward.
What situations usually warrant tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is recommended when a tooth is physically damaged beyond repair or the gum tissue can no longer support the tooth.
Some situations in which extraction is beneficial include:
- Extensive tooth structure loss from decay
- A broken or severely cracked tooth from injury
- A loose, wiggly tooth caused by gum disease
- Extremely crowded or impacted teeth
Gum disease is a common cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontitis, advanced gum disease, can lead to teeth becoming loose within the gum pocket. When this happens, especially when it’s coupled with a persisting gum infection, removal of the tooth may be necessary as part of treatment.
What am I supposed to do about the gap in my smile?
After a tooth is removed, you don’t have to be stuck with a gap in your smile. We’ll be able to help you find a prosthetic tooth replacement that meets your needs.
Berrien Dental offers a few great options for replacing one or more missing teeth!
Individual Dental Implants
Dental implants are a superior tooth replacement option, and often, the process can begin during the same appointment when your tooth is removed. Dental implants mimic natural teeth in both look and feel. The implant itself also lasts for life, while the dental crown that forms the new “tooth” has an average life span of over 10 years.
If you have multiple teeth that need to be extracted, you won’t need to get a bunch of individual implants! Instead, you can have just a few placed across the span of the space that support a denture-like appliance that’s designed to pop onto these implant posts. You can replace an entire arch of teeth with only four to eight dental implants.
Porcelain Dental Bridges
Porcelain dental bridges are a traditional option that has remained quite popular as a beautiful and affordable method of replacing one to four teeth. You’ll have dental crowns placed on the teeth neighboring the gap, and a pontic will be designed to fit in this space.
We’ll discuss restorative options before your extraction appointment to minimize downtime between the removal of the tooth and the placement of the prosthetic.
We’ll be by your side before and after your tooth extraction.
Helping you maintain optimal oral and overall health is our primary goal, and unfortunately, that sometimes means a badly damaged or decayed tooth needs to go.
The Berrien Dental team deeply empathizes with anyone who is facing a tooth extraction. Our dentists will only ever recommend tooth removal when no other option is reasonably available. We’ll discuss our evaluation findings with you in detail, show you the X-rays of the damage that’s present, and explain why extraction is the safest option to protect your health.
If you suspect you have a tooth that needs to be removed or you’re seeking a second opinion on a tooth another dentist has recommended be pulled, we can help. You can schedule an appointment with us by calling your preferred location or requesting a visit online. We have convenient locations in both St. Joseph and Berrien Springs, MI.