Ask a Dentist: When Is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Tooth Extraction San Antonio, TX

Most dental professionals agree that keeping your natural teeth is ideal for oral and overall health. However, sometimes a tooth extraction is the preferable choice. A dentist can evaluate a person's unique situation to determine the right treatment plan for that patient.

When is a tooth extraction the recommended option?

Many times, a damaged tooth can be repaired. However, in some situations, an extraction is a necessity.

Severe infection

Any type of infection can be dangerous if it makes its way into the bloodstream. If the tissues within a tooth become seriously infected and cannot be treated with a root canal, an extraction may be necessary to prevent harmful complications.

Irreparable damage

Some accidents or injuries can cause a tooth to be knocked loose or severely damaged. A dentist usually tries to save a natural tooth first, which is why it is so important to see dental professionals right away when an oral health emergency occurs. If the damage is irreparable or it has been too long since it occurred, however, the tooth will likely be extracted.

Chronic decay

Cavities do not just cause toothaches; dental decay can weaken a tooth's structure over time. If the decay is chronic or left untreated for too long, the tooth will no longer be able to stand up to biting and chewing and will need to be removed.

Impacted teeth

If a permanent or baby tooth never erupts above the gumline, it can cause a host of problems, including:

  • Pain
  • Poor tooth and jaw alignment
  • Infection

If leaving the impacted tooth in place compromises a patient's oral health, it needs to be removed. Wisdom teeth often fall into this category.

How can an extracted tooth be replaced?

With the exception of impacted teeth, it is imperative that an extracted tooth be replaced with a prosthetic one as soon as possible after removal. Otherwise, more damage to the surrounding teeth is likely to follow, along with severe alignment issues.


Dental implants are a popular option among tooth extraction patients because of their realistic appearance and durable nature. Implants do require more time to heal than other restorations. However, the results are permanent, usually last a lifetime, and are often indistinguishable from natural teeth.


For patients who want a less invasive treatment approach, dental bridges are an option. These are usually only used when replacing a molar or other tooth towards the back of the mouth. With good home care and routine professional cleanings, bridges usually last between five and 10 years before a replacement is needed.


For those who do not have the tooth or bone structure to support an implant or bridge, dentures can be used to replace extracted teeth. Partial dentures are designed to be worn alongside natural teeth if only some teeth are removed. Both full and partial dentures require nightly cleaning and regular checkups.


While having a tooth extraction can be unnerving, it is sometimes necessary for the patient's health. Most extracted teeth must be replaced to avoid complications. This allows the patient to enjoy a healthier and more beautiful smile.

Request an appointment here: or call All Smiles Dental Center at (210) 714-7429 for an appointment in our San Antonio office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Tooth Extraction in San Antonio, TX.

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