When might a person need a tooth extraction?

You and your dentist may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any one of a number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, others may have advanced periodontal disease ("gum disease"), or else have broken in a fashion which cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth), or else in preparation for orthodontic treatment ("braces").

When might a tooth extraction be a bad idea?

During an examination of your teeth and mouth it is possible that your dentist will present to you various alternative treatments instead of a tooth extraction. While having a tooth extracted may be less expensive than the other options proposed it may not be the least expensive in the long run.

When a tooth is missing its neighboring teeth will tend to shift, sometimes significantly, which in turn can have a major impact on your dental health. Even the removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and predispose the teeth that have shifted to problems also.

To avoid these complications, in most cases, your dentist will probably recommend to you to replace the tooth that has been extracted. Replacing a tooth that has been extracted with an artificial one can easily cost more than the alternative of not having a tooth extraction and instead rebuilding the tooth.