Tooth Extraction Is Not Extinct

Tooth extraction may seem like a thing of the past with modern dental technology.  The numerous dental procedures for saving teeth seem to no longer warrant tooth removal. Add to that, the philosophy of minimally invasive dentistry–the belief that saving as much natural dentition is optimal for the patient’s future dental health.  Tooth removal, however, is still a treatment dentists offer. Therefore, you wonder what would cause a dentist to remove a tooth. There are circumstances when removing a tooth is the healthier option, particularly for people with chronic health issues. Your Cerritos, CA oral surgeon, Dr. Shawn Hofkes, can educate you on the reasons tooth removal might be the right treatment for you.


Why Pull The Tooth?

Today most dentists practice minimally invasive dentistry. This means when performing a procedure, a major goal is to try to retain as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. This may not be possible 100 percent of the time. Sometimes removing the tooth is the better choice.

Root canal therapy can save a tooth in the majority of cases. However, if the tooth is too damaged or the decay extends into the pulpal region and infection develops, the tooth may need to be extracted, particularly if antibiotics won’t work. This is especially true if the patient has a chronic illness, or compromised immune system, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Removing the tooth is the better option for the patient, because even a dental infection can cause serious complications

Periodontal disease can also lead to tooth extraction. Periodontal (gum) disease, begins as gingivitis, or irritation of the gums due to bacterial plaque. If left untreated it can progress into an infection of the gum tissue and underlying bone, causing pain and bleeding, and leading to loose teeth, or tooth extraction.

Most of us are familiar with wisdom tooth removal due to lack of space or an impacted tooth (a tooth stuck in the gum).Teeth are also pulled to make room for other teeth if there is crowding, or to improve the alignment of your bite. Teeth are also removed sometimes before braces to allow room for the other teeth to straighten.  Another reason for tooth extraction is to prepare a patient for dentures.


Shawn Hofkes, DDS, is highly qualified to address complex oral and dental issues. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.