Dental extractions are performed for a variety of reasons including tooth decay, injury, and for orthodontic treatment.  Extractions are a relatively common procedure in most dental offices.  The difficulty of the procedure varies depending on the case and the patient, however anesthesia is used to numb the area and prevent pain during the procedure. 

Types of Extractions

There are two forms of extraction: simple and surgical extractions.

Simple extractions are performed on teeth that can be seen in the mouth.  They are removed due to decay or injury and are usually performed under a local anesthetic.  During this procedure, the doctor will grasp the tooth with forceps and loosen it by moving the forceps back and forth.  The loosened tooth will then easily come out. 

Surgical extractions are performed on teeth that have broken off at the gum line or that have not yet come in (ie: wisdom teeth).  To remove the tooth, the doctor will have to make an incision and reflect the gums, which allows access to the areas.  This is necessary so that they can see the tooth that needs to be removed.  Surgical extractions are usually done with local anesthesia which can be augmented with common sedation techniques.   


Reasons for Tooth Extraction

The most common reason for removal of a tooth is severe decay or breakage of a tooth.  However, teeth may also be removed because of:

  • · Fractured teeth
  • · Severe tooth decay or infection
  • · Severe gum disease
  • · The tooth can not be restored endodontically
  • · To make room for a dental prosthesis (i.e.: bridge or denture)
  • · Cosmetic reasons
  • · Extra teeth that are blocking other teeth from growing in
  • · To make room for orthodontic treatment

Regardless of the reasons a tooth must be pulled, extraction is usually reserved only for cases in which no other treatment option will cure the infection or problem. 

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