Usually, when your dentist recommends treatment, it’s too help preserve your natural smile, and often, that means restoring a cracked, broken, infected, or otherwise compromised tooth. But sometimes, your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth, which might make you wonder if fixing the tooth isn’t the better option. However, when your dentist recommends tooth extraction, it’s typically because there are no other restorative options for fixing it, and removing the tooth is the best way to protect the rest of your oral health.
An impacted wisdom tooth is one of the most common reasons for tooth extraction. Your wisdom teeth, or third molars, can become stuck behind or underneath the molars already at the end of your dental ridges. When this happens, the third molars become a threat by constantly pushing against your teeth, possibly leading to tooth misalignment as well as tooth damage and severe pain. Extracting impacted wisdom teeth relieves the discomfort and eliminates the threat to the rest of your dental health.
When a tooth cracks or breaks, your dentist will usually try to fix it with an appropriate restoration, such as a dental crown. When the damage is so significant that the tooth cannot be saved, then allowing it to remain can cause damage to nearby soft tissues, which may eventually lead to severe dental infection. Instead, your dentist might suggest extracting the damaged tooth and replacing it with a durable, lifelike prosthetic (such as a dental implant and crown).
Tooth decay, or tooth infection, is the condition that causes cavities, which can usually be treated with a tooth-colored filling. In severe cases of decay, root canal therapy may be required to clean away the internal infection. Yet, if root canal therapy doesn’t suffice, then your dentist may suggest tooth extraction to prevent the decay from spreading beyond the tooth.