Sometimes a tooth has to be removed from the socket in the bone. It might have decay, gum disease or a fracture beyond what we can repair. Or we may need to remove it for space or prior to placing orthodontic braces. And some teeth are poorly positioned and need to be removed. A common example of this is the ‘third molar’ or wisdom tooth.
Here are other reasons:
- Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
- Sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out in time to allow the permanent teeth to come in.
- People getting braces may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place.
- People receiving radiation or cancer drugs may develop infected teeth due to a weakened immune system.
- Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in. They commonly come in during the late teens or early 20s. They need to be removed if they are decayed, cause pain, have a cyst or infection or are headed in the direction of some misalignment issue. These teeth often get stuck in the jaw (impacted) and do not come in. This can irritate the gum, causing pain and swelling. In these cases, the tooth must be removed. If you need all four wisdom teeth removed, they are usually taken out at the same time.
How do I know if my tooth needs to be removed?
Your periodontist will make the recommendation for a tooth extraction based on your examination and radiographs.