While our mission at Towncare Dental of Naples is to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful, there are times when a tooth is too damaged or decayed to restore. When this happens, our dentist may recommend pulling the tooth.
A tooth removal or a tooth extraction is a common procedure that can usually be done in your dentist’s office. Your teeth are attached to the jaw bone by fibers called periodontal ligaments. By manipulating the tooth, the dentist can detach these ligaments and extract the tooth with little difficulty.
Why a Tooth May Need to be Removed
People are usually prompted to call our office for an appointment when they have a toothache. We will take x-rays and assess the condition of the tooth to determine if the tooth can be saved or must be extracted. Common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Tooth is severely cracked or broken
Something as simple as biting down on a popcorn kernel can crack or break a tooth. In many cases, the cracked or broken tooth can be fixed by placing a crown over it. If the break or cracked has penetrated the soft connective tissue in the center of the tooth, known as the pulp, you may need a root canal before a crown is placed on the tooth. But sometimes the tooth is too damaged to save and the dentist will recommend an extraction.
- Severe tooth decay (cavity)
Dental decay is an infection that erodes the tooth enamel causing a cavity. Small cavities can be fixed with a filling while larger cavities can typically be fixed with a crown. But, if you have a severely infected tooth and are in pain, there are two options the dentist might suggest: a root canal or an extraction.
- Baby tooth doesn’t fall out when it should
Starting at the age of 5 or 6, children eagerly await the loss of a baby tooth so they can place it beneath their pillows for the tooth fairy. But there are times when a primary tooth fails to fall out on its own, preventing the permanent tooth from emerging. When this occurs, the dentist may have to remove the retained baby.
- Severe crowding means teeth need to be removed before orthodontic treatment
Most of the permanent teeth emerge by the age of 13 or 14. But sometimes the jaw is too small to hold all the teeth in proper alignment. The teeth can crowd each other and begin to overlap. A dentist may extract one or more teeth in order to make room for the other teeth. Often, an extraction is followed by orthodontic treatment including braces to properly align the remaining teeth.
- Advanced periodontal disease
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by bacteria that attack the gum tissue. Over time, the disease causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth and erodes the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth to the jaw bone. This can loosen the tooth, causing it to fall out. If it fails to fall out on its own, the dentist may extract it.
- Wisdom teeth don’t come in correctly
A third set of molars that make up a person’s 32 teeth begin to push through the gum line between the age of 17 and 25. Because they emerge at the age of maturity, they are called wisdom teeth. In many cases, however, there isn’t enough room in the jaw for the wisdom teeth to emerge. 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.
If you hear our dentist in Naples refer to the type of extraction you need as a “simple tooth extraction,” that means 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.
A tooth extraction is typically a routine dental procedure that can be performed by a general dentist right in the comfort of our Towncare Dental of Naples office. In some cases, however, our dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to perform the tooth extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Removal in Naples
Most people have a third set of molars, known as wisdom teeth, come through the gum line during the later teen/early adult years.
Frequently, there is not enough room in the jaw for these molars. When they try to push their way up past the gum line, they may cause several oral health problems. Our team at Towncare Dental of Naples will take x-rays to determine if your wisdom teeth are causing any of these problems:
- Your jaw is too small for the wisdom teeth to properly come through the gum line
- The wisdom teeth are only partially coming through the gums
- 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
Our dentist may recommend you have the wisdom teeth removed to eliminate existing problems or prevent future ones. This is best done 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 when you’re older.
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 Naples 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 the dentist will 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 (239) 963-1743 to schedule an exam. We look forward to helping you.