There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure. Dr. Odegard recommends grafting the socket with human bone immediately after extraction of a tooth to preserve the bone. Without a bone graft, 40 % of the tooth supporting bone will resorb away in the first year. This can cause facial disfiguration.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth.