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Everyone at the office is very friendly and helpful, and the technicians are great. I feel like Westerville Dental is very much on top of the latest screening and monitoring techniques, and I really appreciate the thoroughness of the appointments in terms of measuring gum health as well as tooth health. I chose this place when I moved down here based on the good reviews, and I haven't been disappointed.
So professional AND friendly. I know that I am getting the best care for my whole family. Plus, the waiting area is beautiful and comfortable--like a living room!--with a special area for young ones to read and draw on the chalk boards.
So glad I found this office when I moved back to Ohio. I’ve had so many bad experiences at the dentist, this place is understanding and open to my questions, they explain everything and it really seems like they care. They also have an open and inviting waiting room that is beautiful.
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Almost everyone wants to keep all their natural teeth throughout life, of course, and most people do whatever it takes to save their teeth. Dentists offer a wide range of services that help patients keep their teeth. These services include checkups, teeth cleaning, dental sealants, fillings for dental caries (cavities), treatment for gum disease, and root canal therapy. In most cases, these services can save teeth, especially when performed early.
It is not always possible to keep a tooth, unfortunately, and sometimes the only way to prevent further problems is to remove the tooth. Dentists can extract teeth quickly, and with the help of anesthesia and sedation, painlessly. Still, it is essential to only have a tooth extracted when absolutely necessary.
Reasons to Have a Tooth Pulled
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is the most common reason for tooth extractions. Dentists routinely save teeth from cavities by drilling out the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the resulting hole with gold, silver, or composites.
Tooth decay is reversible with fillings, but only when cavities affect tooth enamel – once tooth decay progresses to the layer of dentin that sits just below the enamel, the cavity is irreversible.
Advanced gum disease
Advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, is the second leading cause of tooth extractions.
Gums are a type of soft skin-like tissue that covers the bones of the mouth and a portion of each tooth. Gum tissue forms a tight seal around teeth to hold the teeth in place and to create a barrier against bacteria. Gum disease is a serious infection that damages this tissue and puts the health of your teeth at risk.
When in its early stages, known as gingivitis, gum disease is highly treatable with good oral hygiene and prompt dental care. As it progresses into periodontal disease, the infection can destroy the bone that supports your teeth and holds them in place. Periodontitis can lead to teeth that are loose, and it can even result in tooth loss. Treatment for periodontitis includes professional cleaning to remove bacteria and plaque from the surface of the teeth, along with scaling and root planing to remove plaque and bacteria from pockets beneath the gum line. If these advanced treatments are not enough to stop gum disease, your dentist may recommend tooth extraction to prevent the gum infection from spreading to other teeth or to other parts of your body.
Overcrowding and impaction
Overcrowding is a common cause of tooth extractions. There is not always enough space in the jaw to allow new teeth to erupt, or come in through the gum. This can cause an impaction, which is a situation in which the tooth remains stuck in the gums. Impacted teeth can cause pain, damage to other teeth, and other dental problems. Impacted teeth may also be difficult to clean, which increases the risk of tooth decay.
Preparation for other dental procedures
Orthodontists may sometimes recommend removing one or more teeth prior to applying braces; these tooth extractions create enough room for teeth to move to a better position within your mouth.
Signs that it is Time to Have a Tooth Extracted
When your dentist suggests it
Dentists do everything they can to preserve their patients’ natural teeth. One of the biggest signs that it is time to have a tooth extracted is when a dentist recommends it.
Severe tooth pain
Severe tooth pain may be a symptom of tooth decay or impaction. The pain may worsen when you chew, as the pressure exerted by chewing pushes on your gums, bone, and the nerve deep inside each tooth.
Jaw pain and stiffness
These signs may be the result of a serious tooth or gum infection, or from damage to the tooth. Jaw pain and stiffness is often associated with swelling of the gums from periodontitis or tooth decay.
Signs of serious tooth decay or gum infection
Signs and symptoms of tooth decay include:
- Toothache that may present as occasional sharp pain with no obvious cause or continuous pain that may keep you up all night
- Tooth sensitivity, especially when you eat or drink something hot, cold, or sweat
- Grey, black or brown spots on your teeth
- Bad breath
Signs and symptoms of gum infection include:
- Bad breath that does not go away
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Tender gums or sensitive teeth
- Pain when you chew
- Receding gum lines that may make your teeth appear longer
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, consult with our team of dentists at Westerville Dental Associates. We offer a number of services to help you save your teeth, and we can help you determine if the tooth needs to come out. If your tooth does need to be extracted, we provide advanced services to remove the tooth as comfortably as possible, and can even help you fill the gap left behind with a dental crown, partial, or dental implant.