At times, as part of a routine dental examination, it is recommended that a tooth be removed. This may include teeth that are already present in the mouth but have for example, fractured unfavorably, are so extensively decayed that they are not salvageable, are affected by advanced periodontal disease, and so on.
As well, it is often recommended that teeth, namely wisdom teeth, which are lodged either fully or partially beneath the gum tissues or within the bone structure of the jaws (known as impacted teeth), also be removed. Serious problems can develop from partially impacted teeth such as pain, infection, and crowding of or damage to adjacent teeth. Problems associated with completely impacted teeth are more serious and may involve cyst and tumor development, damage to the jaw bone and nerves. It is common that problems may arise from partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth with few or no symptoms. As wisdom teeth develop, their roots grow longer and closer to the nerve within the jaw bone, possibly entrapping it. As well, as a person ages, the jaw bone becomes denser making wisdom tooth removal more difficult. Furthermore, healing capacity decreases. Therefore, for young adults, removal of wisdom teeth is usually recommended even if there are no obvious problems.