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When Does a Tooth Require Extraction?

Happy PairPreventive dentistry (biannual cleanings and checkups) was designed to supersede tooth loss. However, accidents and decay do happen. If you are far behind on your dental care and you have a tooth that is beyond repair, or you are hurt in such a way that teeth can’t be saved, tooth extraction may be necessary. Extractions are relatively minor dental surgeries that stop the spread of infection, but unfortunately leave you with a toothless space. Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson will make every effort to save natural teeth if possible, but try not to panic if you need an extraction. They are not terribly uncommon.

Just Hold On

The goal is this: you go to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. The likely result is then that any cavities you have are caught early by Dr. Johnson. When a tooth is infected, extraction doesn’t have to represent the likely path. Dental fillings or root canal treatments will quite often suffice. These procedures involve removal of infection from inside the tooth. Dental cement and filling material are used to seal the area from further bacterial infiltration. When an abscess is present, however, or the infection has traveled deep into your jawbone, it’s often too late. In those cases, the tooth is pulled to clear the infection quickly and protect your health.

Extraction as the Only Option

A broken tooth doesn’t necessarily require extraction. We will exhaust all of the options such as dental bonding and dental crowns to repair the damage and reinforce what’s left of your natural tooth. However, sometimes the damage to a tooth is too extensive, or there simply isn’t enough structure left. In these cases, an extraction can provide you and Dr. Johnson with a clean slate. After you have healed, appropriate tooth replacement options are available for exploration.

Schedule a Visit with Your Des Moines IA Dentist

Are you in need of a tooth extraction? If so, contact our 50266 dentist office today at 515-223-9764 to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Johnson. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.


MapValley Ridge Family Dental
6150 Village View Drive, #109,
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Phone: 515.223.9764
After-hours emergency: 515.423.0445
Fax: 515.327.6230

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 8 am-5 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am- 1:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm