There are many different reasons why you may need to have a tooth extracted. In most cases extraction will be a last resort, but this is not always the case.
If you have orthodontic problems, such as crooked or twisted teeth, a bad bite, crowded teeth or gaps between your teeth, you will probably be advised to have orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth and make your smile look better. Orthodontic treatment can also help to improve the function of your teeth and improve your bite. The aim of orthodontic treatment is to move the teeth into the correct position; for example, if you have gaps between your teeth braces will help to move the teeth to close the gaps. In some cases people who have orthodontic treatment need to have teeth extracted before braces are fitted, which will allow room for the teeth to move. Your dentist will tell you if you need to have teeth removed during your consultation.
Injury or trauma
If you have damaged your teeth as a result of an accident, a fall or a sporting injury, you may need to have a tooth removed. Your dentist will do all they can to save the tooth, but if it is badly damaged there may be no other option but to extract it. If you do lose a tooth and you are panicking about the appearance of your smile, there are plenty of ways to replace it and modern methods are used to create a perfectly natural replacement that blends in with the rest of the teeth.
Decay and disease
In some cases, when a tooth is very badly decayed, it may not be possible to save a tooth and it may have to be extracted. Decay is caused by harmful plaque acids which weaken and gradually destroy the enamel surface of the tooth. Once the enamel is damaged the rest of the tooth, which contains the living tissue, is susceptible. If decay is left untreated it will get worse and the tooth will effectively die (this is sometimes referred to as a rotten tooth). Root canal treatment may be used to try and save a tooth, which involves removing dead pulp tissue from the tooth and cleaning the root canals, but if this is not possible an extraction may be carried out.
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