Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves removing a tooth from its socket in the jawbone.

Extractions can either be considered a surgical or a simple extraction. Surgical extractions involve using a dental handpiece to separate the tooth and roots into pieces for the tooth or remaining roots to be removed. Surgical extractions may sometimes include creating an incision into the gums around the tooth.

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Tooth Extractions

Surgical extractions are for visibly broken teeth or teeth with multiple roots that are not ideal to take out in one piece. Simple extractions are when the tooth can be removed whole without the need to separate the tooth into multiple pieces.

Tooth extractions are necessary in situations such as:

Severe tooth decay
If a tooth is severely decayed and cannot be restored with a filling, crown, or another type of dental restoration, essentially deemed unrestorable, extraction will be necessary. Once extracted, replacing the tooth is recommended due to the possibility of the surrounding teeth shifting over time.

Gum disease
In advanced stages of gum disease, teeth can become loose and may need to be extracted to prevent further damage to the surrounding teeth and gums.

Impacted teeth
If a tooth is unable to emerge from the gums fully, it may become impacted, which can cause pain and damage to the surrounding teeth. In such cases, extraction may be necessary.

If the teeth are too crowded, an orthodontist may recommend extracting one or more teeth to create space for proper alignment of the remaining teeth.

Wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are extracted if they are impacted, causing pain, infection, or damage to other teeth.

Trauma or injury
If a tooth is severely damaged or fractured due to trauma or injury, extraction may be necessary.

Primary teeth extraction
Extracting primary (baby) teeth that remain in the gums due to malposition causing it not to fall out at the correct time. By removing the unexfoliated primary teeth, the permanent teeth can potentially erupt into the correct position.

Using specialized instruments, the tooth is gently loosened from the socket by slowly rocking the tooth back and forth. You may feel some pressure. We will remove the tooth from the socket once the tooth is loose enough. A surgical extraction is needed if the tooth is impacted or difficult to remove.

One of the patients’ main concerns is whether or not to have their 3rd molars, otherwise known as wisdom teeth, extracted.  Wisdom teeth are the 3rd set of molars in the mouth and usually start appearing in the late teens to the early twenties. The wisdom teeth often tend to be impacted (not erupted and still in the bone or gums) due to the lack of space in the posterior jaw area or the angle at which the wisdom teeth developed. Some common issues that wisdom teeth can cause are:

Partially erupted wisdom teeth can trap food and bacteria, leading to infection in the gum tissue surrounding the tooth. This can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty opening the mouth.

Damage to adjacent teeth
Wisdom teeth that are growing in at an angle can push into adjacent teeth, causing damage to their roots or crowns.

Cysts or tumors
In rare cases, wisdom teeth can form cysts or tumors, which can cause damage to the jawbone or surrounding teeth.

Extractions Tool

It is recommended to have those wisdom teeth removed in the late teens or early twenties because the bone is softer at that age, and the healing period is quicker, which makes extracting wisdom teeth more comfortable for the patient.

Extracting wisdom teeth requires a surgical extraction if the wisdom tooth is not fully erupted, is too close to vital nerve structures, or is in a difficult position to extract; an oral surgeon will perform the extraction.  In cases where the wisdom teeth are straight and fully erupted, no extraction is necessary unless it is causing an oral hygiene issue in the surrounding area.

Once the tooth is removed and bleeding is controlled, gauze is placed over the extraction site, and the patient is instructed to bite and put pressure on it. If an incision were made, a suture would most likely be placed to close the wound.

Patients may experience pain, swelling, and bleeding after the extraction. Post-op instructions will be provided for managing these symptoms, and pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed if necessary. Patients may also need to avoid certain foods and activities while the area heals.

Overall, tooth extraction is a safe and relatively straightforward procedure. However, as with any dental procedure, there is a small risk of complications, such as infection or damage to nearby teeth or restorations. It’s important to follow the dentist’s instructions carefully and to contact them if you experience any unusual symptoms or complications after the procedure.