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Five Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction

At Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona, our board certified maxillofacial surgeons recommend that patients undergo a tooth extraction procedure when the health of the tooth has been compromised beyond repair or there is severe overcrowding of the teeth. Patients can schedule their surgical appointments at the facility that is most convenient; we have offices in Tempe, Glendale, and Phoenix. Oral surgery and tooth extraction can be performed at each of these locations.

Tooth extraction may be performed for different reasons. At our practice, the five most common reasons for tooth extraction include:

1. Tooth Decay

Worldwide, tooth decay is the most common reason for tooth removal. Patients that need to have a tooth extracted due to tooth decay may have avoided seeing the dentist for an exam and cleaning for years. You see, it usually takes years for tooth decay to progress to the point of tooth loss. In its earliest stages, tooth decay affects the enamel of the tooth. Once it wears through the enamel, the inner portion of the tooth, the dentin, begins to deteriorate. As the decay eats a hole through the center of the tooth, the tooth suffers further damage. When the bacteria reach the center, or pulp, of the tooth, it results in a root canal infection. The longer the patient goes without treatment, the more extensive the infection and destruction. If tooth decay has become so severe that the tooth can’t be saved, our oral surgeons may recommend extraction, followed by tooth restoration treatment.

As long as patients undergo dental exams and cleanings every six months, cavities can be prevented, or detected and treated with a simple filling.

2. Gum Disease

Gum disease, when left untreated, is just as destructive to the teeth as tooth decay. The advanced stages of gum disease cause the degeneration of the gum tissue, ligaments, and bone that support the teeth. As the supporting structures of the teeth deteriorate, the teeth become loose. Eventually, gum disease will cause the teeth to fall out on their own, or the teeth may require extraction, along with gum disease and tooth replacement treatment.

 3. Overcrowded Teeth

Tooth extraction may be performed as part of a patient’s orthodontic plan. If the patient’s teeth are severely overcrowded, the orthodontist may recommend the removal of permanent teeth. This creates more space for the remaining teeth to be pulled into alignment so they all sit flush with one another. Tooth extraction for overcrowded teeth is most frequently performed on children and teenagers.

 4. Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth refers to a tooth that has not erupted beyond the gum line or only partially erupts. There are several causes of tooth impaction, including overcrowding, a tooth that comes in twisted or tilted at odd angles, and a tooth that comes in displaced. The wisdom teeth are often impacted because the jaw is not large enough to accommodate these teeth. For our patients in Phoenix, wisdom teeth removal and tooth extraction can be performed on impacted teeth.

 5. Tooth Breakage

If a tooth breaks at or near the gum line, there may not be enough of the visible tooth structure to which a tooth restoration such as a dental crown can be attached. In these cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.

To schedule an appointment at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona, contact us today.