If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will try to fix it with a filling, crown or other dental treatment. But when there's too much damage for the tooth to be repaired, the tooth may need to be extracted — or removed — from its socket in the bone.
Beyond damage and decay, here are some other common reasons for tooth removal:
- Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
- Sometimes baby teeth don't fall out in time to allow the permanent teeth to come in.
- People getting braces 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 cancer drugs may develop infected teeth because these drugs weaken the immune system. Infected teeth may need to be extracted.
- Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they erupt in the mouth. They commonly come in during the late teens or early 20’s. They need to be removed if they are decayed, infected, or if there is not enough room in the mouth.