When to Consider a Tooth Extraction for a Permanent Tooth

Mar 08, 2023

When to Consider a Tooth Extraction for a Permanent Tooth

Your permanent teeth came in around age 6 or 7, and after that, you probably expected them to stay there for the long haul — but that’s not always the case.

By age 50, the average American has lost an average of 12 teeth (that includes wisdom teeth). So what’s behind all these missing teeth? Here, Drs. April Toyer, Leonard Toyer, Edward Park, Christy Hark, and Payal Patel at Lifetime Dental Care, PLLC., highlight some reasons you might need to part ways with your teeth. 

A closer look at tooth extractions

Tooth extractions are dental procedures we use to remove a tooth from its socket. Usually, oral surgeons perform tooth extractions, but general dentists and periodontists trained to carry out tooth extractions can perform them, too.

There are two main types of tooth extractions: simple and surgical. We decide which to use based on the state of your teeth. 

We perform simple extractions on teeth that have fully emerged and are visible above the gumline using local anesthesia. 

A surgical extraction involves making incisions in the gumline to reach teeth that haven’t fully erupted, aren’t easily accessible, or have broken below the gumline. Sometimes, we may need to split your tooth into multiple pieces to remove it more easily. Surgical extractions usually require general anesthesia. 

When your tooth needs to go

We attempt to treat your tooth with the least invasive methods before recommending an extraction. That may mean employing some cosmetic dentistry techniques, performing a root canal, applying a filling, or fitting you for a crown

However, at times extractions are the best (or only) way to go. We recommend extracting a tooth that is:


  • Severely decayed
  • Loosened by extreme periodontal (gum) disease
  • Impacted
  • Overcrowded
  • Severely chipped, cracked, broken, or discolored following a traumatic incident

We conduct a thorough review of your oral health to make sure an extraction is right for you.

A note on wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth extractions are one of the most common oral surgery procedures. Wisdom teeth are extra molars that grow in the back of your mouth. Having your wisdom teeth removed is rarely an emergency situation unless they’re impacted or have developed an infection. 

Some still have their wisdom teeth well into their adult years, but most have them removed in their teens. 

What happens afterward

What happens after your extraction depends on why you had your tooth removed. Wisdom teeth, for example, don’t need to be replaced; you simply allow the empty socket to heal. 

In almost every other case of tooth extraction, we must take steps to replace it; otherwise, you risk your teeth shifting out of place, bone loss, bite problems, and other oral health problems. You have a few options for filling in the gaps, depending on how many teeth we extract. 

Dental implants are ideal if you only need to remove one or two teeth.Bridges and dentures may be the better option for multiple missing teeth.

How to avoid tooth extractions

If you want to avoid tooth extraction, start by developing and maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine, complete with two sessions with your toothbrush and one with floss each day. And consider adding mouthwash to your routine to control bacteria and bad breath. 

Above all, the best way to keep your teeth is to see us regularly. Even if you have a handle on your oral health, our professional cleanings are the only way to guarantee your teeth and gums are truly in good shape. 

We also have the expertise to catch the earliest warning signs of decay and damage, which can ultimately land you short a tooth (or two or three). 

Want more information about tooth extractions? Don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Woodbridge, Virginia, office today.