If I don’t extract a tooth, what could happen?

The consequences of not extracting a tooth depends on the reason that the tooth needs an extraction. If there is an infection and it is left untreated, it can worsen and affect neighboring teeth, cause bone loss, and in some situations spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening.Here the infection has nearly spread to the next tooth, which may need a root canal:

If there is a large cavity determined to be nonrestorable, allowing the cavity to get bigger can make the extraction more difficult, more expensive, and slower to heal. Here the cavity has progressed below the gumline, almost below the bone:
If there is bone loss due to gum disease, the bone loss will continue to progress. This bone loss will affect the teeth nearby. If too much bone is lost, it will not be possible to place implants at those sites:
Here is another example of a tooth recommended for extraction due to gum disease. The x-ray on the right was taken 8 months after the left. The bone loss is now affecting the two teeth nearby.
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