When Extracting a Tooth Is Better Than Keeping It

Many patients don’t exactly welcome the news that one of their teeth has to be extracted. Even if the tooth hurts because it is severely damaged or infected, losing it can seem more devastating than dealing with it. As far as your dental health is concerned, however, the opposite may be true. In some cases, extracting a tooth is the only way to preserve the rest of your smile, especially when trying to save it could place other oral structures at risk of infection or damage.

The Tooth Has Become Dangerous to Itself and Others

While there are several reasons to extract a tooth, wisdom tooth impaction is perhaps the most common one. A wisdom tooth, or third molar, becomes impacted, or obstructed, when there is little room left on the dental ridge to accommodate its growth. Impaction means the tooth cannot erupt fully from the gum line because it is blocked by another molar, and removing the wisdom tooth can prevent it from damaging your other teeth.

The Tooth Isn’t Able to Perform Properly

When a tooth is severely infected with tooth decay or damaged by a crack, fracture, or break, then an appropriate restorative treatment may be able to save it. If the condition is severe, then the tooth may be too weak to perform its functions even if it were to be restored. The same can be true in cases where gum disease erodes enough of your gums and jawbone to leave your teeth without adequate support.

A Tooth Interferes with Full Mouth Reconstruction

A full mouth reconstruction describes rebuilding a patient’s smile through a combination of advanced, but conservative, restorative and oral surgery procedures. For instance, one or two severely crooked teeth could make orthodontic treatment complicated, and extracting them can remove the obstruction so we can realign the rest of your smile.


Shawn Hofkes, DDS, is highly qualified to address complex issues, including the diagnosis and treatment of destructive gum disease. 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.