Extractions and Wisdom Teeth
What are tooth extractions?
A tooth extraction is when we completely remove the entire tooth from the mouth. Once the tooth is gone, it will be gone forever. After the extraction, there will be a space there which you should think about replacing with either dental implants or tooth bridge, both are "fixed" replacements meaning that they stay in the mouth and do not come out. They get glued in. An alternative is a removable partial denture.
How do I know that I need a tooth extracted?
For some instances, a tooth needing an extraction will cause tooth pain. This toothache may be accompanied by an abscess with or without swelling. Dental abscesses may not always swell up!
Although the defining factor for needing an extraction is when the tooth cavity has grown so big that it can no longer be saved. You may notice that the tooth has a large hole in it and it may look cracked. Typically the prognosis for saving a tooth starts to drastically decrease if it is missing more than half of the tooth.
There is an exception though... A tooth may be cavity free and still require an extraction if there is severe periodontal disease, namely severe periodontitis. Periodontitis may cause so much bone loss around the tooth that they start to get loose. When they get so loose that they start to wiggle when you eat and talk, they will need to be extracted. Once you lose bone it doesn't grow back.