There’s only one way to know if you need a tooth pulled.
Visit your dentist.
We want to be as plain-spoken about this as possible because there’s a tendency for people to think that they have a particular health problem, then look on the Internet for confirmation that they do. Whether it be because of catastrophizing, or because symptoms they have match a treatment they think they might need, people can come to the wrong conclusions.
So, visit your dentist.
That all being said, we can elaborate on one thing: what we look for before deciding that a tooth needs to be pulled.
The tooth is too damaged for other procedures
We don’t like to have to pull teeth if we can avoid it. Even damaged teeth can serve a purpose – we can, for example, use their structure in order to fit on a crown. Extracting teeth can lead to oral health problems down the line, and the prosthetics that are needed to fill in the spots where the extracted tooth used to be can be expensive.
There are, unfortunately, some circumstances where a tooth cannot be saved – even with a root canal. In these circumstances, we have to extract the tooth in order to prevent infection. We’ll give you a number of options with which you can replace the damaged tooth – from bridges to implants.
The tooth is impacted
Impacted wisdom teeth are the one circumstance in which we don’t mind extractions too much. Now, if we can leave your wisdom teeth in without risk of infection, overcrowding, or other potential oral health problems, we will. In cases where the wisdom teeth need to be extracted, however, it’s not the end of the world.
Wisdom teeth, you see, are vestigial. That means they’re no longer particularly useful. Given that they’re the teeth located the furthest back in your mouth, they’re not even that handy for prosthodontics like bridges!
Now, there are times where non-wisdom teeth get impacted. This most often occurs when a baby tooth is lost before the permanent tooth is ready to grow in. The other teeth can crowd the spot where the new permanent tooth was supposed to go.
Like wisdom teeth, not all impacted teeth need to be removed. Impacted canines, for example, are often not removed because they pose little risk of infection. Again, it’s important to remember that this varies on a case-by-case basis, and you’ll need to speak with your dentist to know for sure.
Now you know: the only way to be certain that you need your tooth extracted is to talk to a dentist. We have a full-service dental practice in Winnipeg, so if you have any oral health concerns whatsoever, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.