When Is a Tooth Extraction Necessary

Although it is best to preserve a natural tooth, there are times when a tooth extraction is necessary. An extraction may be the best option to maintain oral health due to trauma, disease, or crowding. Tooth extraction involves the complete removal of one or more teeth from the jaw bone.

Tooth extraction is available at Viva Smiles Family Dental in Georgetown and the surrounding area. Our team can extract teeth gently and safely to preserve your oral health.

A Normal Procedure

While it is best to preserve natural teeth, many reasons can necessitate tooth extraction. Sometimes a filling or crown is not enough to restore a tooth. The American Dental Association suggests the extraction of teeth that have suffered severe trauma, have extreme tooth decay or disease, or are crowding the surrounding teeth. It is also normal for patients to have an extraction or two before orthodontic treatment.

“The American Dental Association suggests the extraction of teeth that have suffered severe trauma, have extreme tooth decay or disease, or are crowding the surrounding teeth.”
female-dentist-holding-tooth-model (1)

Preventing Infection

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease occurs when bacteria get below the gum line and causes infections. Without treatment, oral bacterial leads to gum recession, damage to the jawbone, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.

“Tooth extraction can prevent damaging decay and infection from spreading.”

Overcrowded or Impacted Teeth

Dental and different teeth condition on white background
“Extraction can prevent pain, infection, and other dental problems.”

When Tooth Restoration Is Not Enough

Typically, the first option to restore a damaged tooth is a crown or filling. If the damage is too severe, trying to save a tooth may put oral health at further risk. A filling may put the tooth at risk for shattering, while a tooth may not be strong enough to support a crown. Root canals are also not possible when there is too much tooth damage.

Each tooth has a limit to how many times it can be worked on before it starts to fail. Redoing a crown or root canal only buys so much time. After several fillings, crowns, and root canals, there will not be much of the tooth left to save. At that point, tooth extraction is the best option to maintain oral health.

“If the damage is too severe, trying to save a tooth may put oral health at further risk.”

Trauma and Tooth Extraction

Teeth are tough but not indestructible. Traumatic dental injuries can occur from a sports injury, car accident, or even a simple slip and fall. While many injuries are minor, if the tooth becomes severely damaged to the point where restoration is not possible, an extraction will be necessary.

“While many injuries are minor, if the tooth becomes severely damaged to the point where restoration is not possible, an extraction will be necessary.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the recovery period after tooth extraction?

A. After tooth extraction, it typically takes a few days to recover. Patients can take over-the-counter pain medication to minimize pain and discomfort. We recommend applying an ice pack to the affected area, stop smoking, and eat soft foods.

Q. Does tooth extraction hurt?

A. Typically, a patient receives local anesthetics during the procedure to keep them comfortable. It is normal to feel some pressure while the extraction is taking place, but it should not hurt. We may recommend some over-the-counter pain medications to minimize pain.

Q. What should I expect after a tooth extraction?

A. We will give patients detailed care instructions to follow at home. It is normal to feel some discomfort once the anesthesia wears off. There may also be some swelling and slight bleeding for up to a day after the extraction.

Q. When should I consider tooth extraction?

A. Patients should have a consultation to determine the best treatment for their teeth. Extraction may be necessary for a tooth that can no longer handle any additional restorative procedures, has severe decay, or is overcrowding the rest of the teeth. An orthodontics treatment plan may also involve the extraction of teeth.

Q. Can I smoke after tooth extraction?

A. Smoking after a tooth extraction is prohibited to prevent complications. Smoking can also dislodge the formed blood clot and lead to a painful dry socket and increase the risk of infection. The blood clot plays an essential role in the healing of the wound.

Dental Terminology

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite.


Tooth decay is when the enamel of the tooth begins to decay and cause erosion from plaque and tartar on the teeth.

Dental Caries

Dental caries are also known as cavities and result from a lack of proper oral hygiene leaving plaque that forms tiny holes in the teeth.

Dental Checkup

A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection and removing said signs of infection at least once every six months in the office.

Dental Filling

A dental filling involves restoring the structure of the tooth by using metal, alloy, porcelain or plastic to fill the tooth.

Dental Prophylaxis

A dental prophylaxis is a professional and detailed cleaning that involves the removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the teeth.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants contain a resinous material that we apply to the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth to prevent dental caries.


A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.


Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that results from plaque, other infections in the mouth and poor oral hygiene.

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is the dentistry that focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread of plaque, the formation of tartar and infections in the mouth.


Tartar forms when plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth and calcifies into a hard surface that is much more difficult to remove and will require professional treatment.

Tooth Enamel

Call Us Today

When necessary, tooth extraction can relieve pain and give you have a more functional smile. Our team at Viva Smiles Family Dental can help determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.

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