What Is It?
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.
What It’s Used For
If a tooth has been damaged by decay or a fracture, the dentist will try to repair it and restore it with a filling, crown or other treatment. Sometimes, though, the damage is too extensive for the tooth to be repaired. This is the most common reason for extracting a tooth.
Here are other reasons for extraction:
- Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
- People undergoing orthodontic work may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place.
- People receiving radiation to the head and neck may need to have teeth in the field of radiation extracted.
- People receiving chemotherapy may develop infected teeth because chemotherapy weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of infection. These teeth may need to be extracted.
- People receiving an organ transplant may need some teeth extracted if the teeth are at risk of becoming sources of infection after the transplant, when immunosuppressive medications are given.
- Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, often are extracted either before or after they come in. They commonly come in during your late teen years or early twenties. Impacted teeth get stuck in the jaw and often need to be removed if they are decayed or cause pain. A wisdom tooth that has emerged partially may be blocked by other teeth or may not have enough room to come in completely. This can irritate the gum, causing pain and swelling, which requires the tooth to be removed.