When Tooth Extraction Is the Best Course of Action

Dec 15, 2023
When Tooth Extraction Is the Best Course of Action
Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes, a tooth can become far more of a liability than an asset. Here, we look at when it’s a good idea to consider tooth extraction.

While teeth are designed to go the distance and last a lifetime, decay, disease, and injury may have other plans. Not to mention, some teeth don’t even need to be there in the first place.

Millions of Americans have a tooth (or two or more) pulled each year for several reasons. At Pure Smiles, Dr. Leila Shahbazi and our team offer comprehensive oral surgery services, including removing problematic teeth.

Here’s a look at a few common reasons our patients come to us for tooth extractions.

When holding onto wisdom teeth isn’t wise

Your wisdom teeth are your third molars, and they’ve earned the name because these teeth are latecomers to your mouth — usually erupting between the ages of 17 and 25, when we’re, presumably, wiser.

Evolutionarily speaking, many feel that these teeth are on their way out and that our jaws are becoming smaller thanks to modern eating habits that don’t require as much tearing and grinding down.

This theory bears out if you consider that about 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth, which means the tooth fails to erupt fully, usually because there’s not enough room at the back of the jaw.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and crowd teeth when they come in, often making extracting them a good idea.

When tooth decay or gum disease strikes hard

The two leading drivers of missing teeth are tooth decay and gum disease. If you consider that nearly 90% of adults in the United States have at least one cavity and almost half of all adults aged 30 and older have some degree of gum disease, you can see how prevalent these conditions are.

While much of our general dentistry focuses on preserving teeth and fighting back against tooth decay and gum disease, there can come a time when the damage is too great, and we need to remove one or more of your teeth.

Accidents happen

Another circumstance in which removing a tooth might be a good idea is if it’s knocked loose or severely cracked due to an accident. In these cases, the tooth may not be salvageable, and leaving the damaged structure can lead to infection and bigger problems.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons people choose to have a tooth removed. The good news is that tooth extraction is quick and easy — we can usually do the job in just one visit.

Also, if we’re moving an active tooth, we offer great replacement options, such as dental implants or bridges, and we can discuss beforehand how you want to fill the new void.

If you suspect that you have a tooth that might be more of a liability than an asset, please contact our office in Scottsdale, Arizona, to make an appointment.