When do teeth need to be extracted?

Dr. Levine strives to save teeth whenever possible, because she believes that nothing is better than keeping your natural teeth.   However, there are many reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted:

-When fracture or decay has damaged a tooth beyond repair.

-When extra teeth block new teeth from erupting.

-To make room for the other teeth to be moved in preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces).

-When wisdom teeth become impacted, when their eruption will disturb neighboring teeth or when they become painful due to incomplete eruption or infection.

-When severe gum disease threatens the supporting tissues and bone structure.

-To remove compromised teeth in the field of radiation for those who must receive radiation therapy to the head and neck.

-When decaying teeth present an infection risk to people who have a compromised immune system due to chemotherapy treatment or other health conditions.


Extractions range from simple to complex.  When the tooth is fully exposed in the mouth, it is generally a simple extraction, which can be performed under local anesthesia.  More complex extractions, involving teeth beneath or at the level of the gums may require a referral by Dr. Levine to an oral surgeon .

Post Op Instructions:

Following extractions, it is very important to avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, aggressive spitting, blowing of the nose, extreme temperatures (hot soup, ice cream), and strenuous exercise.  Following these post-op instructions will help prevent a dry socket from developing.  A dry socket can result if the clotting process is disrupted, leading to a painful bony exposure.  Since most simple extractions do not cause much discomfort afterwards, an over-the-counter pain reliever is usually all that is needed.  Dr. Levine likes to see her patient 1-2 weeks post extraction for a follow-up appointment.


Feel free to contact Dr. Levine if you have any questions regarding tooth extractions or to schedule an evaluation.