There are several common reasons for having a tooth extracted. Of course, nobody wants to hear the news from their dentist or orthodontist that they need it done. But the procedure is pretty quick and relatively painless during and after, thanks to anesthetic and painkillers.
The important thing to keep in mind is that getting a tooth pulled is always used as a way to prevent more serious complications. With all the reasons for having a tooth extracted, it’s only done when there’s a good chance that leaving the tooth in puts the patient at risk for more pain, a spreading infection, a worsening bite condition, or other unpleasant consequences. And in some cases, it’s actually the less invasive option, as sometimes it can avert the need for jaw surgery.
Here’s a quick look at some of the typical reasons for having a tooth extracted.
Why Do Teeth Get Pulled?
- Dental crowding is one of the most common reasons for having a tooth extracted. When the teeth are too crowded to fix with braces or clear aligners, pulling one or more teeth can free up some needed space.
- If a tooth gets damaged in an accident or facial injury, it may need to be removed. Leaving cracked or broken teeth in creates the risk for further injury to other parts of your mouth and for infection (which can in turn cause more pain and spread to other areas of the body).
- When a patient has protruding teeth that cause the lips to stick out, sometimes pulling a tooth can help. As with tooth crowding, the extraction creates more space so the remaining teeth can be moved back and inward more effectively and easily.
- A bad tooth infection may require that the affected tooth be pulled. When antibiotics and a root canal aren’t enough to treat a tooth infection, or if the tooth has become excessively damaged from a severe or long-term infection, it will be extracted.
- Severe overbites and underbites sometimes necessitate a tooth extraction. This bite condition can be related to problems with jaw alignment, and this is one of those times when extracting one or more teeth may be able to prevent jaw surgery.
- Tooth pain might call for an extraction, too. It may be related to factors mentioned above, such as damage or an infection, or it may be due to some congenital condition or other disorder. Tooth pain is notoriously unpleasant, and it can be difficult to get relief from. So, when it can’t be remedied to the patient’s satisfaction by addressing an underlying cause, the problem tooth can be pulled to put an end to the suffering.