At David Eskow DDS, our goal is to explore all possibilities for saving a tooth before performing an extraction. However, there are situations that will result in the need to remove a tooth—primarily when wisdom teeth become impacted or when a tooth becomes damaged beyond repair by disease or decay.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
By adulthood, the average person has 32 teeth: 28 functional teeth used for biting and chewing and 4 “third molars”, known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth and are usually the last teeth to emerge. While they were utilized by our ancestors to chew more coarse, rough food than we are accustomed to today, wisdom teeth are now considered non-vital and functionally useless.
When wisdom teeth do not develop correctly or lack the room to erupt and move into their proper position, they become “impacted.” Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and cause all sorts of oral health problems. If they grow sideways or remain beneath the bone or gum line, they can cause surrounding teeth to become crowded, misaligned, or damaged. Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt can result in bacterial infection leading to pain, swelling, decay, and bad breath.
For these reasons, it is recommended to remove impacted wisdom teeth as early as possible. Even when wisdom teeth erupt and align properly, they are often still removed. Most commonly, young adults have them extracted to avoid future issues and create space for braces and other orthodontics to work effectively.
Other Reasons for Tooth Extraction
In other cases, tooth extraction may be necessary if you develop severe tooth decay or a bacterial infection damages the pulp of a tooth. It’s very important that these conditions do not spread to other teeth or cause further complications. So, in the event that restoration isn’t viable, extraction is often the best option. Finally, certain surgical procedures or restorations may require a patient to have one or more teeth extracted to facilitate treatment or give room to other teeth so they can move into their proper positions following treatment.
Before removing any teeth, your doctor will walk you through every step of the procedure and answer all your questions. Following the procedure, you will be provided with detailed after-care instructions.
To make an appointment or learn more about tooth extraction, please contact us at our Olney dental office.