Sometimes, a tooth needs to be removed. You may need an extraction if:
A baby tooth is preventing a permanent tooth from erupting
A tooth has suffered extensive decay or trauma
You have gum disease
A tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth)
Extractions can be performed surgically or non-surgically, depending on the complexity of the case. Nitrous oxide or anxiety-relieving medications can be used to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible during the procedure.
When a cavity is ignored long enough, tooth decay can burrow into the tooth. This causes extensive damage to the tooth that may not be remedied with a filling. In this case, dentists can perform a root canal to preserve the tooth and avoid an extraction.
During a root canal, a dentist removes the decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth and replaces it with strengthening filler.