Why a Tooth Extraction?
Removing a tooth is one of the last resorts for treatment that Dr. Andow advises as it is almost always better to save a natural tooth than to try and replace it. However, there are a number of reasons why Dr. Andow might recommend that you have a tooth, or even several teeth, removed. Here are just some of the reasons:
- A broken, cracked, or extensively decayed tooth where a repair is not possible
- A tooth unsuitable for root canal treatment
- A tooth with advanced periodontal disease
- Malpositioned or nonfunctional teeth
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces)
For information on how to care for your mouth after an extraction, click here.
When Might Removing a Tooth Be a Bad Idea?
During the examination of your teeth and mouth, Dr. Andow will recommend alternative treatments that would be in your best interest. While removing a tooth might be quick and easy, it may not be the best option for your long-term overall health.
When a tooth is removed its neighboring teeth will tend to shift, sometimes significantly. Any alignment changes that do occur can have a major impact on your dental health. Removing even a single tooth can lead to problems associated with chewing or jaw joint (TMJ) function. Additionally, teeth whose alignment has changed can become traps for food or be harder to clean thoroughly, thus placing them at greater risk for a cavity and periodontal disease.
So to avoid these types of complications, in most cases, Dr. Andow will recommend that you replace any tooth that has been extracted. Replacing a tooth after an extraction with an artificial one can easily cost more than the alternative of not extracting a tooth and, instead, rebuilding it.