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Our primary mission at Dental Associates of Kendall is to help you keep your teeth healthy and your smile sparkling. There are times, though, when a tooth is too damaged or decayed, and must be pulled. A tooth removal is also called a tooth extraction, or pulling a tooth. All three phrases mean the same thing. It’s a very common procedure.
Rather than being rigidly fixed to the jaw bone, your teeth are attached to the bone by fibers called periodontal ligaments. By carefully manipulating a tooth, the ligaments can be detached and the tooth can be extracted with relative ease.
Why a Tooth May Need to be Removed
It’s usually the pain of a toothache that prompts patients to call our Dental Associates of Kendall. However, pain doesn’t necessarily mean the tooth requires removal. Common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Tooth is severely cracked or broken
Many people suffer a cracked or broken tooth due to an accident, injury or tooth decay. In many cases, a cracked or broken tooth can be repaired by placing a crown over the tooth. When the damage has reached the connective tissue inside the tooth, called the pulp, the tooth may require a root canal before it is crowned. Sometimes, however, the tooth is too rotten or damaged to save and the dentist will recommend it be pulled.
- Severe decay (cavity)
The reason our parents warned us as children to stay away from sweets is because the sugar we eat is converted into bacteria that erodes the enamel of your teeth and causes cavities, literally holes in the teeth. Small cavities can be repaired with a filling made from a variety of materials. Larger cavities can often be repaired by placing a crown over the tooth. If the tooth is severely infected, a root canal may be needed before the crown is put in place. If none of these procedures are viable, the dentist may recommend the tooth be pulled.
- Baby tooth retained
Starting at the age of 5 or 6, children begin to lose their baby teeth to make room for the permanent teeth they’ll use throughout their lives. But sometimes a primary tooth does not fall out naturally and the permanent tooth behind it cannot emerge through the gum line. In this case, the dentist will remove the retained baby tooth so the permanent tooth is able to come through.
- Teeth too crowded
In addition to acne and growth spurts, the teen years can signal the need for braces. For some teens, the jaw is too small to hold all the permanent teeth that have emerged in proper alignment. The teeth crowd each other, moving them out of position. The dentist may recommend extracting one or more teeth to make room for the other teeth. Often, this procedure is followed by orthodontic treatment including braces to properly align the remaining teeth.
- Advanced gum disease made teeth unstable
If you notice a loose tooth, you may have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. The same bacteria that can attack the enamel of your teeth can target the gum tissue, causing it to pull away from the tooth and eroding the ligaments holding the tooth to the jaw bone. If the tooth becomes too loose, it can fall out or need to be extracted.
- Not enough room for wisdom teeth to come in properly
A third set of molars typically begins to push through the gum line at the back of the jaw when a person is between the ages of 17 and 25. Because they emerge when a person reaches maturity, they are known as wisdom teeth. Many people, however, do not have enough room in the jaw for the wisdom teeth to come in. If the wisdom tooth remains partially or completely under the gum line, it can become impacted. The dentist then may refer you to an oral surgeon to remove the impacted tooth.
If dentist concludes that you need a “simple tooth extraction,” that means the dentist anticipates the shape and condition of the tooth roots will allow the tooth to come out easily. This is also referred to as an uncomplicated extraction.
Generally speaking, a tooth extraction is a routine dental procedure that can be performed by a general dentist right in the comfort of our Dental Associates of Kendall office. In more complicated cases, our dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to perform the tooth extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Removal in Miami
Most people have four wisdom teeth that come through the gum line during the later teen/early adult years.
This third set of molars that make up a human being’s 32 permanent teeth can cause several problems. Our team at Dental Associates of Kendall will take x-rays to determine if you have any of the following concerns:
- Your jaw is too small for the wisdom teeth to properly come through the gum line
- The wisdom teeth are only partially emerging
- The wisdom teeth are coming in at an angle
- The wisdom teeth are damaging the adjacent teeth
- The wisdom teeth are damaging the jaw bone
- The wisdom teeth are leading to gum infection
Before the age of 25, the wisdom teeth roots are not fully developed and the jaw bone is not as dense as it will be later in life. Our dentist may, therefore, recommend you have your wisdom teeth removed at this age to eliminate existing problems or to prevent future ones.
Call Dental Associates of Kendall Today to Schedule an Exam
The first step to determining if your tooth needs to be extracted is to schedule a dental exam. We’ll take x-rays, evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine whether the natural tooth or teeth can be saved and restored to health, or if the best option is to remove the damaged tooth or teeth.
Call our office today at (305) 459-3204 to schedule an exam.