A severely decayed or badly damaged tooth can sometimes be repaired with restorative procedures. But in some cases the damage is too extensive and the tooth will need to be extracted.
How do you know if your tooth is damaged beyond repair? How bad does a tooth need to be before it's extracted? Here’s a general idea of when you can expect to need tooth extraction.
A Tooth May Be Saved If:
- It has a cavity. A tooth with a small cavity can easily be filled. Even a few cavities or a large cavity in a tooth can often be filled or restored with a crown.
- It has a small crack. A cracked tooth can be repaired as long as the crack is above the gumline.
- It is chipped. A chipped tooth can usually be restored using composite bonding or a crown.
- It is infected. An infected tooth can often be saved with a root canal.
A Tooth May Need To Be Extracted If:
- It is cracked below the gums. If the crack begins or extends under the gumline it will not be repairable in most cases and will need to be extracted.
- There is extensive damage. If there is too much damage to a tooth, either from decay or fracture, it may need to be extracted.
The Extraction Procedure
The procedure for tooth extraction is very simple. Local anesthesia is applied to numb the nerves in the tooth and gum tissue surrounding it. The tooth is gently loosened from the socket and removed. A few sutures may be used to close the gum tissue over the socket. These will dissolve in a few days as the tissue heals.
Replacing the Tooth
It is usually in the best interest of your oral health to replace an extracted tooth with a prosthetic. Options for tooth replacement include:
- Dental bridge. A dental bridge can replace one or two teeth in a row using crowns that fit over the teeth on each side of the gap. Artificial teeth are suspended between the crowns to replace the missing teeth.
- Dental implant. A dental implant is an artificial tooth and root system that is surgically placed in the jaw. It replaces the natural root of the tooth as well as the tooth itself.
- Dentures. When some or all of the teeth need to be extracted, partial and full dentures can replace them.
- Implant supported prosthetics. When multiple teeth are extracted and need to be replaced, implant supported bridges and dentures can provide larger restorations that are supported by dental implants placed in the jaw.
Schedule an Evaluation Today
If you have a tooth that you think may need to be extracted, schedule an evaluation with Golia Dental today. We can assess the condition of the tooth and provide restorative treatment if possible, or extraction and replacement if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth Extraction
How long does a tooth extraction take?
The procedure for extracting a single tooth can usually be done under an hour and closer to 30 minutes. If multiple teeth need to be extracted at the same time, the procedure could take a few hours.
How long is the recovery period after tooth extraction?
You can expect to be almost fully recovered from tooth extraction in about a week. You may experience some discomfort for the first few days following the procedure, but over the counter pain medication is typically sufficient.