Well, technically, lose one to save 31. Adults grow one set of permanent teeth that usually amounts to 32 (including the four wisdom teeth). Once the permanent teeth have erupted, they are the last teeth that will grow out of your dental ridge. Though adult teeth should be permanent, tooth extractions are often a necessity to preserve the rest of a patient’s oral health.
When Tooth Extraction Is Necessary
Think of teeth as a white picket fence protecting your house from an outside world of harmful creatures. The fence achieves maximum protection if it reveals no empty spaces and possesses strong individual pickets. As individual pickets wither, the protection it achieves minimizes. Pickets can wither from fire, termites, or weathering and can easily infect the surrounding pickets. To address this issue, a withering picket can be removed and then replaced with a new one. Similarly, when a tooth is too weathered (worn or broken) or decayed, then it may require a tooth extraction and replacement to preserve the rest of your teeth’s integrity.
Extreme Cases of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the erosion of your tooth due to a bacterial infection. Poor dental hygiene can allow the acids produced by bacteria to erode your tooth’s protective layer of enamel until the outer layer can no longer repel infectious bacteria. Once they reach your tooth, the bacteria can spread and consume your tooth structure, leaving cavities (holes) in their wake. Dental fillings can treat most instances of mild to moderate tooth decay, and root canal treatment can often save a severely infected tooth. However, in extreme cases, tooth decay can render a tooth too weak and infected to save, and it may require an extraction.
Extreme Dental Injuries
Usually the result of an accident, dental injuries may include avulsed (knocked out), displaced (forced loose, but still attached), chipped, or fractured teeth. Some tooth fractures can expose the tooth’s vulnerable layers (dentin and pulp) that are normally protected by highly-resilient enamel. Besides exposing the tooth to infection, a tooth crack that reaches the root might not be fixable, and may call for a tooth extraction to prevent injury to surrounding tissues and jawbone.
About Your Gary, IN Dentist:
As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your family’s next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.