When do I need an emergency tooth extraction?

Most people expect their teeth to last a lifetime. With proper dental care and regular dental visits, you can maintain optimal oral hygiene for a lifetime. However, in some cases, an emergency tooth extraction becomes necessary — due to unavoidable reasons or lack of proper oral hygiene. There are several reasons for an emergency tooth extraction, such as an impacted wisdom tooth, dental decay, dental abscess, etc. In some cases, the rotting or affected tooth can be saved with fillings, crowns, or root canals, but that’s not always possible. So, let’s take a closer look at what emergency tooth extractions entail, the signs you need an emergency extraction and the possible reasons for emergency tooth extractions.

An emergency tooth extraction is a dental emergency wherein various underlying factors may necessitate that one or several of your teeth be removed. As the name suggests, tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth, either due to excessive decay, damage, pain, or overcrowding. Figuring out if you truly need an emergency tooth extraction is hard, but you can look for some signs and symptoms. The signs that you need an emergency tooth extraction include:

  • Severe toothaches in your teeth or gums.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Signs of a dental abscess, such as bleeding gums and pus in your gums.
  • Discoloration of the teeth.
  • Darkened gums.
  • Excessive swelling around the mouth.
  • Inability to move your mouth or teeth comfortably.

What are the reasons for emergency tooth removal?

Dental Trauma

One of the most common reasons for an emergency tooth removal is a dental trauma or injury due to sudden impact, such as a sports injury, car accident, etc. A severe dental trauma often leads to a dental fracture that extends deep under the gum line, necessitating immediate extraction. If you have a mild crack or fracture, the dentist might be able to seal it with a dental filling or crown. However, if the damage is severe and risks infection, the dentist will have to remove the affected tooth.

Dental Abscess

Dental abscesses are infected spots around the roots of the teeth, often leading to cysts and pus formation around the gums. An abscess may occur in various parts of the mouth, but the tooth’s root is the most common location for an abscess. Abscesses are chronic, i.e., they only worsen over time, leading to increased dental inflammation and infection. If you don’t treat a dental abscess and remove the affected tooth, the infection may spread to other parts of your teeth or body, leading to further complications.

Advanced Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a condition wherein excessive bacterial infection in your gums and teeth leads to the formation of deeply infected pockets of space between your gums and teeth. At its early stages, periodontitis can be treated with minor treatments. However, if the pockets of space are extremely deep, you may need emergency dental extraction to prevent the infection from spreading.

Severe Dental Decay

Dental decay usually starts at the surface of your teeth, i.e., the enamel. At that stage, the dental decay can be treated and sealed with dental fillings. If the dental decay continues spreading into your root canal, you’ll need a root canal treatment, i.e., the inner structures and pulp will have to be removed to disinfect the tooth. However, if you don’t get a root canal and let the infection continue, you’ll eventually need a tooth extraction.


Some people have small jawbones, leading to excessively crooked or misaligned teeth. You may also have misalignment if your teeth are too big, leading to overcrowding. In these cases, you might need an emergency tooth extraction before your orthodontic treatment or braces can begin. Removing the extra teeth can free up some space in your mouth for the remaining teeth to straighten.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are the third molars located at the furthest end of both jaws. They usually erupt after all your other teeth have come out, usually in your late teens or early 20s. By the time your wisdom teeth start erupting, your other teeth have already set in place, leading to possible misalignment and overcrowding issues. In some cases, the wisdom teeth don’t come out properly or get lodged within the jawbone, leading to inflammation and possible infection. In that case, you need an emergency wisdom tooth extraction.

What happens during the emergency tooth extraction procedure?

Depending on the condition of your affected tooth, you may need a simple or surgical extraction. During a simple tooth extraction, the dentist administers local anesthesia and pulls your tooth using a special instrument. Surgical tooth extraction is necessary if the affected tooth is lodged within your jawbone, so the dentist needs to remove some of the surrounding jawbones to dislodge the tooth.

My tooth was moved out of position. What do I do?

If your tooth moves out of position, you should contact an emergency dentist for diagnosis and treatment. The dentist will examine the tooth, determine the correct course of action, and recommend the ideal treatments. The dentist might provide a splint to ensure or restore stability, but it depends on your specific situation. 

Am I going to need a root canal if I have a cavity?

If you have a dental cavity, the dentist will examine your tooth to determine the extent of the cavity. If the cavity has only affected the enamel, i.e., the outer layer of the tooth, you’ll need a dental filling. However, if the infection has reached the pulp chamber, you’ll need a root canal.

Do emergency dentists offer sedation?

Yes, emergency dentists offer sedation dentistry options for those who are anxious.

Where can I go for an emergency wisdom tooth extraction near me?

URBN Dental is one of the best dental clinics for emergency wisdom tooth extraction in Houston, TX. Our dental clinic is located at 2400 Mid Ln. #350, Houston — please schedule an appointment online or call (346)251-8322.