Nobody wants to lose a tooth, and no dentist wants to see their patients without their pearly whites, but sometimes a tooth just needs to go. Why would that be?
At Riverdale Dental Arts, Dr. Sheldon Kupferman and his team take their patients’ oral health very seriously. Even though it might seem counterintuitive, sometimes it’s necessary to extract a tooth to improve oral health. Here, the team explains why that would be the case.
Your teeth are coated in a hard enamel shell. That makes them strong enough to bite and chew all kinds of things, but they’re not indestructible. In cases of severe disease or injury, it may be better for your overall oral health to extract a tooth than suffer the ill effects of holding on to it, even though it’s a natural tooth.
If you don’t brush and floss properly, it can lead to a build-up of bacteria and food debris in the mouth, which, together, turn into a sticky plaque that can harden into difficult-to-remove tartar, promoting tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria produce acid that eats away the enamel, too, leading to even more decay.
If the dentist catches the problem early enough, he can use composite fillings to repair small, and sometimes even large, holes. However, if the decay extends into the tooth’s interior, which contains blood vessels and nerves, it can open the door for an infection, causing pain and inflammation.
A root canal is a procedure during which Dr. Kupferman removes the tooth’s inner tissue, then cleans out and fills the canals that extend into the root structure. This procedure saves the root, but not the crown, so the remaining tooth needs to be topped by an artificial dental crown. However, if the infection is sufficiently advanced that neither a root canal nor any antibiotic can kill it off, the only option may be a tooth extraction.
Sometimes accidents, whether they come from a car, sports, or a slip-and-fall, involve your teeth. A cracked or broken tooth can cause damage to nearby teeth or to the gums that support it. Dr. Kupferman tries to save and restore the tooth with a filling or crown, but if it’s too badly damaged to repair, the tooth may need to go.
If the tooth needs to be extracted, another restoration option is a dental implant, a metal rod fused with your jawbone for stability, then attached with an abutment to a dental crown placed on top. An implant is the closest you can get to a natural tooth’s look and functionality.
Not every tooth erupts through the gum tissue as it should, and it can become impacted (trapped between the bone and the gum). This most often occurs with wisdom teeth, your third set of molars, which normally don’t come in until age 17-25.
Impacted teeth are associated with a greater risk of infection and other complications, such as pain and inflammation, so they’re often extracted to prevent future problems. As wisdom teeth are evolutionary relics from a time when we ate a coarser diet, extraction doesn’t damage your oral health but instead protects it.
Some people have a small jaw that doesn’t provide enough room to hold all your adult teeth in the correct positions, and the teeth become crowded and misaligned. Crowding and misalignment can lead to chipped teeth, excessive wear-and-tear, gum irritation, and difficulty chewing. A small mouth can also be a problem for moving teeth into their correct positions with orthodontic treatment.
One possibility to address this issue is to extract some of the misaligned teeth so those that remain won’t be crowded. In addition, teeth that are too big for the size of the mouth may need to be extracted so they don’t interfere with the teeth being moved.
An orthodontist or oral surgeon should extract all the required teeth before you have the braces installed. The teeth are almost always removed symmetrically so your bite remains balanced.
Are you having pain or sensitivity in your teeth? Then you need to come into Riverdale Dental Arts for an evaluation by Dr. Kupferman to determine the nature of the problem and apply the appropriate treatment. We offer pain-free tooth extractions for all our patients when necessary.
To get started, call our office in the Bronx, New York, at 718-548-1148, or book your appointment online with us today.