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When Tooth Extraction Is the Best Course of Action

While modern dentistry emphasizes the importance of protecting and maintaining your natural teeth, it’s not uncommon for your dentist to recommend removing one or more of them. In some cases, tooth extraction, or tooth removal, is the only option for preventing complications that can threaten the health of your entire mouth.

Tooth extraction ranks as a relatively common and routine type of oral surgery. With appropriate anesthesia and aftercare, the experience can be relatively painless and free of complications. 

The dental team at Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights and Carmel, New York, specializes in using the latest techniques and equipment for on-site tooth extractions. Whether you need one or several teeth removed, the dentists at Rifkin Dental have the experience and expertise necessary to ensure optimal results, including the option for artificial tooth replacement after your procedure.  

Learn more about the reasons that may make it necessary to have a tooth extraction instead of saving your natural tooth.


Tooth decay ranks as the most common reason for tooth extraction. Tooth decay occurs when plaque, a material that consists of bacteria and food, isn’t removed after it collects on the outer surface, or enamel, of your tooth. As plaque remains on the enamel, it forms an acid that causes a small hole, called a cavity.

If the cavity is left untreated, bacteria can enter through the hole and into the tooth to reach the underlying level, called dentin. Eventually, the bacteria works its way to the tooth center or pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. 

When the bacteria reach your pulp, it can cause a painful infection and eat away at the internal structures of your tooth, threatening its health down to the roots. If the damage is treated in time, you may be able to save your tooth with a root canal

However, if there is extensive damage to your tooth roots, your tooth loses its ability to remain secure and function normally. Leaving the infected tooth in place can risk spreading the disease to other teeth and potentially other areas of your body. 

Gum disease

When you allow bacteria-filled plaque to remain on your teeth, the substance eventually hardens and forms tartar. As it develops, tartar can move down into your gum line, where it’s more difficult to remove. 

The effect of tartar on your gums results in deterioration of the gum tissue, ligaments, and bones that support your teeth and keep them in place. The tooth may become so loose that it moves during chewing and speaking, so extraction is necessary. In some cases, the tooth may fall out on its own.

Traumatic damage

When a tooth becomes damaged by injury, impact, or even biting down on a hard food, you may be left with a small portion or irregular section of your tooth. While a dental crown can help you maintain a damaged tooth, the treatment requires a certain amount of tooth structure above the gum line. 

If your tooth is damaged to the extent that the remaining portion can’t support a dental crown, your best option for restoring normal function and appearance may be extraction and artificial tooth replacement with a dental implant

Impacted teeth

Tooth impaction occurs when teeth fail to break through bone and erupt past the surface of your gum. The condition can happen with any tooth but it is most common in wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in and may not have the room they need to properly erupt.

Leaving impacted teeth in place can affect the position of your other teeth and the way your mouth functions. Teeth that are partially impacted and fail to erupt fully can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease because they can be difficult to keep clean.

Since impacted teeth can cause pain, bleeding, and swelling, tooth extraction can restore comfort and function and reduce your risk of dental problems.


If you are preparing for orthodontic treatment, your dentist may recommend the removal of one or more permanent teeth before your appliances are fitted. This may be necessary if your teeth are misaligned due to a small jawbone or having teeth that are too large for your mouth. 

Removing one or more teeth creates extra room to realign the remaining teeth into their desired positions for improved appearance and function. 

Find out more about tooth extraction and whether it’s the right option for your dental health. Schedule an appointment by calling our office in Yorktown Heights or Carmel today. 

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