Your dental health is important, and our patients’ safety is our top priority. We want to assure you of the measures we take to maintain a clean and safe environment so you can continue to receive needed dental care without fear or concern. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and all CDC guidelines very closely.
Our goal at Galt Family Dentistry is to help you keep your teeth healthy and your smile sparkling. However, there are times when a tooth is too damaged or decayed to save. When this occurs, your best option may be to have the tooth pulled.
A tooth removal or tooth extraction is a common procedure that can usually be done in the comfort of our office in Fort Lauderdale. Teeth are connected to the jaw bone by thin fibers called periodontal ligaments. To extract a tooth, our dentist can simply manipulate the decayed or damaged tooth to separate the ligaments from the jaw.
Why a Tooth May Need to be Removed
There are various reasons why our dentist may recommend that a tooth be pulled. Common reasons for tooth extractions include:
Severely cracked or broken tooth
Teeth are made up of minerals that give them their durable, hard enamel coating. This gives them the strength needed to chew tough foods. Nevertheless, enamel is still vulnerable to accidents, decay, and injuries, which can cause a tooth to crack or break. If the crack or break is minor, the damage can be fixed by placing a crown over the tooth. If the break or crack has penetrated the soft tissue in the middle of the tooth, called the pulp, you may need a root canal before the tooth is crowned. There are times, though, when the tooth is too damaged to save and must be extracted.
Severe decay (cavity)
Bacteria in foods and beverages can cause dental decay. Dental decay is an infection that erodes the tooth enamel and creates cavities, or holes, in the teeth. If the cavity is small, the dentist can fill it with a mixture made of porcelain, a composite resin or a metal alloy. If the cavity is large, it can be covered by a crown. But, in cases where the tooth is severely infected and the patient is in pain, the dentist may recommend a root canal or an extraction.
Baby tooth retained
One of the joys of childhood is the ritual of placing a baby tooth beneath a pillow for the tooth fairy. Children begin to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6 or 7. There are times, though, when a baby tooth doesn’t fall out on its own. This can prevent the permanent tooth from emerging. When this occurs, the dentist may have to pull the baby tooth.
Crowded Teeth / Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Treatment
An adolescent’s permanent teeth emerge between the ages of 6 and 13. In some cases, however, an adolescent’s jaw is too small to accommodate all 32 permanent teeth. This can cause some teeth to grow out of alignment. When this occurs, the dentist may extract one or more teeth to give the remainder teeth the room they need. Often, this is followed by braces or other orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Just as bacteria from food and beverages can cause tooth decay, bacteria can also attack the gums, resulting in an infection called periodontal disease. This infection causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth and deteriorates the ligaments that hold the teeth in place. The result is a loose tooth that may fall out on its own or may need to be pulled.
Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Between the ages of 17 and 25, most people have a third set of molars that begin to push through the gums at the back of the jaw. These are known as wisdom teeth because they emerge at the age of maturity. In many cases, however, there isn’t enough room in the jaw for these molars to properly emerge. They remain partially or completely under the gum and impact the tooth next to it. This is referred to as an impacted wisdom tooth. The dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to remove the impacted tooth.
Most tooth extractions are classified as a “simple tooth extraction” or an uncomplicated extraction. That means the dentist anticipates the shape and condition of the tooth roots will allow the tooth to come out easily.
Most simple tooth extractions can be performed by a general dentist in our Galt Family Dentistry office. In other cases, our dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to perform the tooth extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Removal in Fort Lauderdale
During the late teen and early adult years, a third set of molars, known as wisdom teeth, begin to emerge. When these molars emerge properly, they make up the final four of a human’s 32 teeth.
There are times, however, when there isn’t enough room in the jaw to accommodate these new molars. This can cause several oral health problems. Our team at Galt Family Dentistry will take x-rays to determine what problems the wisdom teeth might be causing including:
- If your jaw is too small for the wisdom teeth to properly emerge through the gum line
- If the wisdom teeth are only partially coming through the gums
- If the wisdom teeth are growing in at an angle
- If the wisdom teeth are damaging the adjacent teeth
- If the wisdom teeth are damaging the jaw bone
- If the wisdom teeth are causing a gum infection
If you are experiencing any of these problems, our dentist may recommend you have the wisdom teeth removed to eliminate these problems or to prevent future ones. It’s easiest to have the wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 25. That’s because the wisdom tooth roots are not fully developed at this age and the jaw bone is not as dense as it will be later in life.
If our dentist cannot perform the wisdom tooth extraction, we will refer you to an oral surgeon who will be able to help you.
Call Galt Family Dentistry Today to Schedule an Exam
If you are having a toothache and feel you need to have a tooth extracted, call our office at (954) 302-7410 to schedule a dental exam. We’ll take x-rays, evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine whether the natural tooth or teeth can be saved and restored to health, or if the best option is to remove the damaged or decayed teeth.
We look forward to helping you.