When Does A Tooth Need To Be Extracted?

dental extractionWe have an array of lifelike restorative options to save damaged or decayed teeth, preserving your smile’s health and stability. However, sometimes preserving overall oral health actually means removing a tooth completely. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist is looking at how we remove a tooth and when we may prescribe this procedure.

The Removal Process and Aftercare

When you arrive, we will administer a local anesthetic and possibly dental sedation to help you enter a calm and relaxed state, with little to no memory of the procedure afterward. We then gently remove the tooth with forceps. Next, we suture the area closed. The procedure doesn’t take very long and you will then have a friend or family member bring you home. For the next day or two, you should avoid strenuous activity, the use of straws, or foods that could place pressure on the teeth. Try not to prod the extraction site with your tongue, and be sure you take any prescribed medications as recommended. In a follow-up visit, we will make sure everything is healing as it should, and we will remove the sutures.

Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are up to four additional molars that arrive in our late teens and early 20s. For some, their arrival doesn’t cause trouble. But for many, these teeth could lead to misalignment, painful partial eruptions known as impaction, infection, and damaged teeth. To avoid these issues, we will recommend removing them prior to eruption, preserving the health and beauty of your smile.

Gum Disease, Decay, and Infection

If a tooth has become loose due to gum disease, or developed a severe case of decay or infection that can no longer be treated with a filling or crown, then we could extract the tooth. This helps protect the health of surrounding teeth as well! Since these situations leave behind an unsightly gap in your smile, we can discuss possible replacement options, such as dental bridges, partial dentures, or even a dental implant.

Correcting Misalignment

In some cases, to make room to reposition smiles suffering from severe misalignment, we may remove a tooth, helping you gain a more even and beautiful smile. If you have any questions about the extraction process, or if you have a dental emergency in need of attention, then please contact our team today. We’re following strict health and safety guidelines to ensure the health of our patients seeking treatment.


Often removing a tooth is the first step towards saving your smile. To learn more about preserving the health and beauty of your smile, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.