How Bad Does A Tooth Need To Be Before It's Extracted?

How Bad Does A Tooth Need To Be Before It’s Extracted?

Team Blog Post

In dentistry, the common goal is to save natural teeth whenever possible by performing a root canal, placing a filling, or installing a crown. However, some teeth incur too much damage and need extraction to preserve the patient's oral health.

Many patients want to know exactly when a dentist would call a tooth "too damaged" for a restoration, but the answer is more complex. Making the call to extract a tooth involves carefully balancing benefits and risks. This blog will explain some situations where your dentist may consider extracting your tooth rather than attempting a restoration.

Broken Teeth

While dentists can save some broken teeth with root canals, crowns, or fillings, the chance of successful tooth restoration depends on its remaining structure.

A broken or fractured tooth extending past the gum line or down to the jawbone is not repairable. Fractured roots also cannot heal and must be removed.

Teeth with large fractures that expose the pulp chamber may have to come out. Teeth with excessive enamel wear may need extraction.

Decayed Teeth

Some cavities are so large that even a filling cannot repair them. This decay most often occurs when a patient neglects their oral health and does not visit the dentist to have it treated at early stages. If sufficient tooth structure remains, the patient may be able to receive a crown.


Severe tooth infections almost always result in extractions. An early-stage infection may be treatable with a root canal or antibiotics. Still, once the infection threatens to spread, the affected tooth must go before it can compromise its neighbors.

Signs Your Tooth Needs Extraction

  • Jaw discomfort or stiffness around the area of the tooth
  • History of gum disease
  • Swollen gums around one or two teeth
  • Severe toothache
  • Discomfort when biting down or chewing

Benefits of Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction can sometimes be intimidating, but living with a damaged tooth is far more uncomfortable than having it extracted. At Suwanee Family Dentistry, we have an on-site oral surgeon who can handle complex extractions in the comfort of our familiar office.

Tooth extraction benefits your oral health by removing a source of infection that could spread to your bloodstream. It eliminates areas where food and plaque can accumulate, lowering your chance of tooth decay spreading to neighbors. Tooth extraction also makes way for quality tooth restorations like bridges and implants.

Call Suwanee Family Dentistry

If you have a problem tooth, don't wait until it gets worse to call your dentist. Please call our office at 678-714-2380 to schedule a consultation and exam. We can evaluate your circumstances and let you know whether your tooth is a candidate for restoration or needs extraction. Either way, we can restore your comfort and protect your oral health by taking action.