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What are Extractions?

Tooth extractions involve the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. A simple extraction is the removal of a visible tooth in the mouth. A surgical extraction is the removal of a tooth that may have broken off at the gum line, or a tooth that has not yet become visible in the mouth.

Why are Extractions Used?

  • A very loose tooth that can’t be saved
  • A tooth that is too broken or damaged by decay (that is not able to be fixed with a filling, crown or other treatment)
  • Extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in
  • Baby teeth that don’t fall out in time to create space for permanent teeth
  • Extra room needed for teeth that need to be moved into place, in the case of braces
  • Teeth in the field of radiation, in cases of head and neck radiation
  • Teeth infected from cancer drugs, so that the infected teeth do not weaken the immune system
  • Wisdom teeth, either before or after they come in

The Procedure:

  1. In a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator.  A forceps is then used to remove the tooth.
  2. In a surgical extraction, a small incision (or cut) is made in the gum. Sometimes it is necessary to also remove some of the bone around the tooth, or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract.