A dental extraction (also referred to as exodontia) is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment.
Reasons for tooth extraction
The most common reason for extraction is tooth damage due to breakage or decay. There are additional reasons for tooth extraction:
- Severe tooth decay or infection. Despite the reduction in world-wide prevalence of dental caries, it still is the most common reason for extraction of (non-third molar) teeth with up to two thirds of extractions.
- Extra teeth which are blocking other teeth from coming in.
- Severe gum disease which may affect the supporting tissues and bone structures of teeth.
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces)
- Teeth in the fracture line
- Fractured teeth.
- Insufficient space for wisdom teeth (impacted third molars). Although many dentists remove asymptomatic impacted third molars, American as well as British Health Authorities recommended against this routine procedure, unless there are evidences for disease in the impacted tooth or the near environment.
- Receiving radiation to the head and neck may require extraction of teeth in the field of radiation.