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How does a tooth extraction treat cavities?

An extraction is when the tooth is removed. An extraction can be necessary for severe cases of cavities when a filling or other methods cannot be used to treat the cavity and save the tooth. Having an extraction means that the entire cavity area is removed from the mouth altogether.

A tooth extraction treats cavities by removing the tooth from the mouth. An extraction should be a last resort for treating cavities as it results in the loss of a tooth. If the cavity has destroyed the tooth where it cannot be saved, it would be the best treatment. Most of the time, a cavity can be fixed with a filling, crown, or root canal. Your dentist can help advise you about the best treatment for a cavity.

Extraction is a possible treatment for a tooth that requires root canal therapy and restoration, such as a crown, but for a variety of reasons the patient has decided not to have the procedures performed. Extraction is also necessary when decay has damaged a tooth to the extent that it is not possible to restore the tooth in a satisfactory manner with reasonably good prognosis, or potential for success for a given period of time.

Obviously, it is much better to treat a decayed tooth when the cavity is small enough for the tooth to be fixed with a "filling" type restoration. In this scenario extraction to "treat" a cavity does not become an option.
If you have a cavity that is so severe that it can not be restored, you may need to have the tooth extracted. This procedure treats the cavity simply by removing the entire affected tooth. After a tooth extraction, your dentist will likely recommend further treatment to fill the gap in your mouth. Typically, you may receive a bridge or implant, which will help you chew and also keep your remaining teeth from shifting due to an empty space where the extracted tooth used to be.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.