While tooth extraction (tooth removal) is considered a last resort, it may be necessary if a tooth is deemed non-restorable. Extraction(s) may be necessary for a number of reasons.
- In some cases, decay in a tooth may extend sub-osseous (below the bone level) or decay may be so extensive that after all of the decay is removed, there is not enough tooth structure to properly restore the tooth.
- If a tooth has a fracture that extends onto the root surface it may need to be removed.
- If an infection attributed to the tooth is considered too extensive to save the tooth with root canal treatment, then the tooth may require extraction.
- Periodontitis causes bone loss, and when it is advanced, leads to loosening of the teeth as a result of attachment loss. This condition may also require extractions.
After a tooth is removed, it is almost always recommended that the tooth be replaced. Tooth replacements include bridges, dentures and implants. If the space is left where the tooth was extracted, other teeth will shift (either by tipping or super-eruption) into the space, throwing off the occlusion (bite) and leading to malocclusion and occlusal disease.