Tooth extraction is unfortunately a very common procedure. Although permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, there are several reasons why tooth extractions may be needed. Most often the tooth is extracted when it is too badly damaged by decay or trauma, and is no longer can be restored. These teeth are usually infected, cause severe pain and have associated abscesses. Teeth will become extremely mobile and loose in cases of severe gum disease and may be extracted due to associated discomfort. When crowded, healthy teeth may be extracted to create space so that the rest of the teeth can be aligned.
In general, if possible it is better to try to save a tooth rather than have it extracted. After the tooth is extracted, over time the neighbouring teeth may start to move and shift from the desired position affecting the overall bite. Also, neighbouring teeth will have added stresses put on them during chewing and biting, which may cause them to break as well. In the long run, it usually costs more to try to replace a missing tooth.
Tooth extraction is usually a relatively simple procedure, and mostly can be performed quickly. Local anaesthetic is used to eliminate painful sensation, but pressure forces are still felt. Some teeth can be more difficult to remove for several reasons, especially related to the tooth’s position, the shape of the tooth roots and the integrity of the tooth.
When a tooth is broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet, surgical extraction may be performed. A small cut is made into gum to expose the tooth or its root. Sometimes it’s necessary to remove some of the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract it.