It’s not all that uncommon for American adults to lose teeth as they get older. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the average person loses 12 teeth for one reason or another by the time they hit 50.
But generally speaking, people should make it their mission not to lose teeth if they can avoid it. They can do it by taking good care of their teeth day in and day out and steering clear of any injuries that could cause tooth loss.
There are times, though, when tooth extraction turns into a necessity for some people. In these instances, it’s important for people to turn to an experienced dental clinic to have a tooth taken out.
Here are seven times when a tooth extraction might be your only option.
1. Severe Decay Has Taken Over a Tooth
Almost every American adult is dealing with some degree of tooth decay at the moment.
Studies have shown that more than 90 percent of those between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one cavity in their mouth. And that number jumps all the way up to 96 percent once people turn 65.
But there are some people who have severe tooth decay. These people have tooth decay that has worked its way down into the center of their teeth.
When this happens, there’s a good chance that the decay will eventually cause an infection. A dentist might recommend a root canal to treat the infection. But the infection could also potentially spread and cause all kinds of other health complications.
If you’re at risk of having this happen, your dentist will likely tell you tooth extraction is the only way to go. It’ll prevent an infection from spreading through your body and wreaking havoc on your health.
2. Severe Periodontal Disease Has Set In
Periodontal disease is, unfortunately, something that impacts far too many Americans. About 50 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums.
As long as a person only has a mild form of periodontal disease, a dentist can treat it without even having to think about performing a tooth extraction. But if periodontal disease is left untreated, it can spiral out of control and lead to further issues.
Severe periodontal disease can affect more than just the gums. It can also take a toll on the periodontal ligaments as well as the alveolar bone. At that point, a dentist often has no choice but to remove a tooth due to periodontal disease.
3. A Wisdom Tooth Has Become Impacted
There has been a lot of debate in recent years over whether or not it makes sense for dentists to tell patients to go through wisdom tooth removal. There are some people who argue that taking your wisdom teeth out is a waste of time.
This may be the case for certain people. But for others, it’s an absolute necessity. It’s not out of the ordinary for wisdom teeth to become impacted when they’re trying to grow in but don’t have any place to go in a person’s mouth.
An impacted tooth can cause an infection. It can also do damage to other teeth around it if you’re not careful. Extracting an impacted tooth can prevent these problems from popping up.
4. Teeth Have Caused Overcrowding
All adults have 32 teeth in their mouths. But not all adults have the same size jaws, which means that some people are forced to live with overcrowding in their mouths.
Overcrowding can cause a whole host of issues with your teeth if you’re one of these people. Many of your teeth might be crooked when they’re overcrowded. They might also sustain damage as they grow in.
By extracting one or more teeth from your mouth, your dentist can give the rest of your teeth some room to breathe. They’ll grow in straighter and will be easier to maintain over the years.
5. Teeth Have Made Orthopedic Treatment Too Challenging
There are about 4 million people in the U.S. who wear braces every year. If you’re thinking about joining them, you’ll need to visit with an orthodontist for an assessment of your teeth.
They may be able to put braces on your teeth without doing a tooth extraction. But if you have overcrowded teeth or teeth that aren’t aligned properly in your mouth, it can make it too complicated for an orthodontist.
They’ll usually recommend that you have a few teeth extracted before moving forward with orthodontic treatment.
6. An Accident Has Caused Irreparable Damage to Teeth
If you’re ever involved in a bad car collision or another type of accident, your teeth might be affected. You’ll need to spring into action right away to save them.
Most times, a dentist can use a variety of dental techniques and products to save teeth following an accident. Some of the options include:
- Dental bonding
But you may also have to get a tooth removed if it’s beyond repair. It’ll help you avoid other problems that could start to affect your teeth and your gums over time.
7. Teeth Have Overstayed Their Welcome
When kids turn 6, they usually start to lose their baby teeth and replace them with their permanent teeth. This process plays out over the course of about 5 or 6 years with most kids losing all their baby teeth by the time they turn 12.
But it doesn’t always work out this way. Some kids have teeth that linger around for a little bit too long. This stops their permanent teeth from growing in.
Dentists will often practice patience with young kids and give their teeth time to come in. But if their baby teeth overstay their welcome, tooth extraction is sometimes used to make room for their permanent teeth.
Do You Need to Have Tooth Extraction Done?
A good dentist will not turn to tooth extraction as a first, second, or even third option. But they will tell you if it’s time to let a tooth go for your own good.
If you’re suffering through any of the situations listed here right now, it might be time to have a painful tooth pulled. Make an appointment with a dentist to see if that’s the case.
Contact us today to find out if a tooth extraction is right for you.