The most common symptoms that might indicate an extraction is necessary is a pain in and around the tooth. This is especially true when pressure is applied to the tooth, gums are swollen or tender, and an infection or abscess in the gum is present. While some teeth can be saved via a root canal, there are some conditions where an extraction can provide a better solution and help avoid additional damage to other teeth, including:
Impaction is especially common with wisdom teeth. When the mouth is already so crowded, the wisdom teeth become completely or partially trapped (impacted) beneath the gum and are unable to emerge fully. Impacted teeth place pressure on neighboring teeth, pushing against them, and eventually causing those teeth to become weaker. This increases the likelihood of tooth loss.
The methods used for tooth extractions are dependent on the position of the tooth, the damage that has occurred to the tooth, and other factors. Simple extractions can be performed using special instruments designed to grip the tooth firmly so it can be removed using fairly straightforward techniques. But teeth that are impacted, or those that have substantial damage due to trauma or decay, may need to be removed using small incisions into the gum to access the tooth and ensure it's completely removed. Once the tooth is removed, the incision will be closed using tiny sutures. If an infection is present, antibiotics may also be prescribed to kill harmful pathogens and to prevent the infection from spreading.
Not always, but it's usually a good idea, even when wisdom teeth are not impacted. That's because wisdom teeth are located so far back in the jaw they can be very difficult to clean and care for. This means they're more likely to become decayed and to become harbors for the bacteria that causes gum disease and painful infections.
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