See How We Make Tooth Removal Comfortable
Dr. B: A couple of different reasons that you would take a tooth out … the more common one is a tooth where the root’s actually broken, or the tooth is broken in half and it can’t be restored. Those are the cases where if it’s a single tooth and there’s nothing else wrong with the dentition or the people’s teeth, you can take that tooth out and either restore it with a bridge or an implant. One of the more common things that people run into in the teenage group is when orthodontics is being done, sometimes there are more teeth that are there than there is space available for them, and it requires removing some teeth so that you can reshuffle them. That’s another time that we would remove the tooth. A third time that we remove teeth deals more with gum disease issues. Bone loss is still a serious problem in this country, it’s one of the things that people don’t talk about because generally it doesn’t hurt. But if you lose too much bone around the roots of the teeth, and they’re not functional, it’s better to remove them and replace them with something that’s more hygienic, for lack of a better word. Also, there’s some kind of fringe areas where, say, if you’re immune compromised, say from chemotherapy or things like that, there may be reasons to take teeth out. But the number of extractions that are done today compared to 50 years ago is vastly smaller.