At Dental One Associates of Virginia, it’s our goal to help you keep all your natural teeth for as long as possible. However, accidents, infection, and over-crowding can sometimes mean that a tooth needs to be extracted in order to restore the overall health and function of your mouth.
A tooth extraction is also called pulled a tooth or removing a tooth. All three phrases mean the same thing. It’s a common procedure designed to remove a tooth that is causing some sort of irreversible problem.
Here’s the good news: teeth are not rigidly fixed to the jaw bone. Instead, they are attached to the bone by fibers called periodontal ligaments. By carefully manipulating a tooth, our dentist can detach the ligaments and take out the tooth. Rest assured, your comfort is our top priority and we will ensure this common procedure is as painless as possible.
Why You May Need to Have a Tooth Removed
There are many reasons why our dentists at Dental One Associates of Virginia may recommend a tooth extraction. Here is a look at some of them:
Tooth is too cracked or broken to save
Whenever possible, our dentist will try to repair a cracked or broken tooth with a crown or another treatment. However, there are times when the tooth is so severely damaged that it cannot be saved. In these cases, our dentist will recommend the damaged tooth be removed.
Severe decay (cavity)
Every time you eat or drink, cavity-causing plaque builds up on your teeth. If it’s not removed, it can lead to an infection that decays the tooth enamel causing a cavity (hole) in the tooth. Small cavities typically can be fixed with a filling and larger cavities can often be repaired with a crown. If the decay has infected the pulp of the tooth, then there are usually two options. If the tooth cannot be saved with a root canal treatment, then the dentist may recommend the tooth be pulled.
Baby tooth doesn’t fall out
A baby tooth that does not fall out on its own is called a retained tooth. Unfortunately, it keeps the permanent tooth below it from being able to emerge through the gum line. Our dentist can pull the baby tooth so the permanent tooth is able to come through.
Crowded teeth / Tooth removal for orthodontic treatment
Every person’s mouth is unique. In some cases, the jaw is too small for all the teeth jostling for space. The teeth can crowd each other, shifting them out of position. A dentist may remove a tooth in order to create space for the other teeth. Often, a tooth extraction is followed by orthodontic treatment including braces in order to properly align the remaining teeth.
Advanced periodontal (gum) disease
Periodontal disease is another name for gum disease. Just like the bacteria in your mouth can attack the enamel of the tooth and create cavities, the bacteria can attack the gum tissue, causing it to pull away from the tooth and damaging the ligaments holding the tooth to the jaw bone. If the tooth becomes wiggly, it can fall out or need to be pulled.
Impacted or problematic wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. They typically push through the gum line at the back of the jaw when a person is aged 17 to 25. In many cases, there is not room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to come in. If the wisdom tooth remains partially or completely under the gum line and is impacting the tooth next to it, it’s called an impacted wisdom tooth. A dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to remove the impacted tooth.
Simple tooth extractions are basically uncomplicated extractions and can typically be performed by one of our general dentists at Dental One Associates of Virginia. If the tooth extraction is expected to be complex, than we can refer you to a specialist such as a periodontist or an oral surgeon to remove the tooth.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? This is the third set of molars that typically show themselves when people are in their late teens or early 20s.
Often times, there is not enough room in the back of the jaw for these molars. When they try to push their way up past the gum line, the wisdom teeth may cause several oral health problems. When our team at Dental One Associates of Virginia takes x-rays, we check to see if the wisdom teeth are causing any problems such as:
- Crowding the adjacent teeth
- Partially or fully trapped beneath the gums
- Causing gum infection
Our dentist may recommend you have your wisdom teeth extracted to eliminate existing problems or to prevent future ones. It’s easiest to have the wisdom teeth removed before the age of 25. That’s because the tooth roots are not fully developed yet and the jaw bone is not as dense as you get older.
If our dentist cannot perform the wisdom tooth procedure, then we’ll refer you to an oral surgeon who will be able to help you.
Call Dental One Associates of Virginia Today to Schedule an Exam
The first step to determining whether you need to have any teeth extracted is to schedule a dental exam. We’ll take x-rays, evaluate the condition of your teeth, and discuss your concerns. Then we can determine whether the natural tooth or teeth can be saved and restored to health, or if the best option is to remove the damaged teeth.
Call our office today at to schedule an exam. We look forward to helping you.