You’ve heard the saying: “it’s like pulling teeth!” There’s a reason we use that phrase to mean something that’s difficult, unpleasant, or downright impossible: pulling teeth isn’t pleasant!
At Panama City Smiles we aren’t in the game of tooth extraction for tooth extraction’s sake. Any dentist worth their salt isn’t! Our goal is always to keep your natural smile healthy, clean, and trouble free. Unfortunately we can’t always do that – it just isn’t possible to avoid tooth extraction in all situations.
Today we want to talk about those situations. Knowing the why and how can help you be less afraid of getting a tooth extracted. In every single case we’re doing it to help you and your smile be the best they can be!
Why Are Teeth Extracted?
There are a variety of reasons why we extract teeth, both cosmetic and health-related. If you keep your smile clean and healthy you probably won’t have to worry about any of the serious reasons – and perhaps none of them at all!
Eliminating Tooth Decay
In almost every single case of tooth decay we are able to treat the problem with a filling, crown, or other restoration that doesn’t cause the loss of the tooth. Sometimes this isn’t possible, however, and we end up with the need to extract the tooth.
Extraction is only necessary in rare cases, such as a severe abscess, total decay, or an infected root that has caused enough damage to destabilize the tooth. We’ll always try other options before we resort to extraction!
Gum Disease: Loss Can Be Inevitable
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the world. As your gums recede the chances of losing a tooth to gum disease increases, and in many cases it’s better to pull it than to let it fall out on its own.
If you come to us with concerns about gum disease and tooth loss we’ll make a determination for your best health. If that means a tooth extraction is necessary we’ll make plans to remove it and replace it with a bridge or an implant. You need something there to prevent a domino effect of tooth loss – it just takes one to kick it off!
When you have an accident that cracks a tooth it might seem like the injury is superficial. That isn’t always the case, however, and X-rays can reveal damage that’s far more serious than you thought.
If there’s damage to a tooth that causes the fracture to reach the pulp at the center, damage the root below the gumline, or severely fracture the tooth something has to be done, and that’s usually extraction. Most injuries don’t need this kind of drastic treatment, but keep in mind why we pull teeth: to preserve your oral health!
Wisdom Teeth: Not That Wise
Your final molars are called wisdom teeth, but for most of us they should just be called huge hassles! A lot of people need their wisdom teeth extracted due to overcrowding, impaction, and partial eruption. The extraction process for wisdom teeth is usually more surgical and uncomfortable, but we’ll be sure to make it as simple as possible.
Pulling wisdom teeth is something we can do at Panama City Smiles, but we usually don’t do it unless we really have to. We’ll be able to tell with just a simple examination if your wisdom teeth have to come out. If they should it’s important to take care of it – the alternative is pain and problems later on!
A Crowded Smile
If you or your child is considering orthodontic treatment extraction may be necessary. A lot of people suffer from bite problems due to crowded teeth, and when that’s the case we usually have to extract a few of them so we can move your teeth symmetrically.
In some cases extraction is unavoidable: wisdom teeth and crowding are two instances of necessary extraction in an otherwise healthy mouth. For problems like decay, gum disease, and injury there is a lot you can do to prevent the need for pulled teeth!
Keeping up with regular dental cleanings and exams is an essential piece of good oral health. If you’re an athlete be sure your teeth are properly protected, and be sure to keep up on your brushing and flossing at home.
We want to help you avoid unnecessary tooth extraction, so don’t wait for the unfortunate to happen. Keep your smile healthy by calling us today at (850) 588-0185 or by requesting an appointment using our online form. We look forward to helping you soon!