Our team at Towncare Dental of Ft. Myers is committed to working with you to ensure your teeth are healthy and beautiful. There are times, however, when a tooth is too damaged or decayed to restore to health. In those cases, our dentist may recommend that you have the tooth removed.
A tooth removal is also called a tooth extraction.
It’s a common procedure that can usually be done in the dentist’s office. Teeth are not rigidly fixed to the jaw bone. They’re attached by fibers called periodontal ligaments. By carefully manipulating a tooth, the dentist can detach the ligaments and extract the tooth.
Why a Tooth May Need to be Removed
There are several reasons why people come to Towncare Dental of Ft. Myers to have a tooth removed. Common reasons include:
- Broken or severely cracked tooth
Injuries, accidents and tooth decay can all cause a tooth to break or crack. If the damage is minor, the tooth can be capped with a crown. If the damage has reached the soft connective tissue in the center of the tooth, called the pulp, you may need a root canal before the tooth is crowned. There are times, however, when a tooth is too damaged or rotten to save and must be extracted.
- Severe decay (cavity)
Despite the most faithful brushing and flossing routine, bacteria from food and beverages can erode the enamel of a tooth, resulting in a cavity, literally a hole in the tooth. If the cavity is small, it can be repaired with a filling. Larger cavities can be sealed with a crown. However, if the tooth is severely infected and the patient is having a great deal of pain, the dentist may recommend either a root canal or an extraction.
- Baby tooth retained
A retained baby tooth is a primary tooth that does not fall out on its own. When this happens, the permanent tooth behind it cannot emerge through the gum line. The dentist will remove the baby tooth so the permanent tooth is able to come through
- Tooth removal needed before braces placed
Most of a person’s permanent teeth will emerge by the age of 13. Sometimes, however, the jaw of an adolescent isn’t large enough to accommodate all 28 teeth. The teeth crowd one another and shift out of position. To remedy this problem, the dentist may extract one or more teeth to make room for the remaining teeth. This procedure is often followed by an orthodontic treatment, such as braces, to straighten the teeth.
- Advanced gum diseases
Just as bacteria can attack the enamel of your teeth and cause cavities, it can also target the gum tissue. This is known as periodontal disease, or gum disease. As the disease progresses, the gum tissue begins to pull away from the tooth and the ligaments attaching the tooth to the jaw bone erode. Eventually, the tooth will loosen and fall out or require an extraction.
- Impacted wisdom tooth
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that push through the gum line at the back of the jaw when a person is between the ages of 17 and 25. In many cases, there is not room for the wisdom teeth to come in. If a 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 have the impacted tooth extracted.
If our dentist in Fort Myers refers to the type of extraction you need as a “simple tooth extraction,” it means the dentist anticipates the tooth will come out easily. This is also referred to as an uncomplicated extraction.
For the most part, a tooth extraction is a routine dental procedure that can be performed by a general dentist right in the comfort of our Towncare Dental of Ft. Myers office. In some cases, however, our dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to perform the tooth extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Removal in Fort Myers
Most people have four wisdom teeth that come through the gum line during the later teen/early adult years. Their official name is third molars.
For many, there is not enough room in the jaw for these wisdom teeth to grow in. When they try to push their way up past the gum line, they can cause oral health problems such as:
- If your jaw is too small for the wisdom teeth to properly come through the gum line
- The wisdom teeth are only partially emerging through the gums
- The wisdom teeth are growing in at an angle
- The wisdom teeth are damaging the adjacent teeth
- The wisdom teeth are damaging the jaw bone
- The wisdom teeth are causing a gum infection
Our dentist may recommend you have the wisdom teeth removed to eliminate existing problems or to prevent future ones. It’s easiest to have the wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 25 because the wisdom tooth roots are not fully developed yet and the jaw bone is not as dense as it will be later in life.
If our dentist cannot perform the wisdom tooth procedure, we’ll refer you to an oral surgeon who will be able to help you.
Call Towncare Dental of Ft. Myers 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 then determine whether the natural teeth can be restored to health, or if the best option is to remove the damaged teeth.
Call our office today at (239) 243-9238 to schedule an exam. We look forward to helping you.