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Oral Surgery & Tooth Extractions


What is an extraction?

A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.


There are two types of extractions:


A simple extraction is a routine procedure performed to remove a visible tooth. A local anesthetic is given to the patient to numb the area. The tooth is loosened with specialized instruments and grasped with forceps. The tooth continues to be loosened until the tooth "slides out" of the bone socket. In some cases a suture is placed that will close the extraction site so that the area can heal faster, but in most cases a suture is not needed at all.


A surgical extraction involves teeth that cannot be seen easily in the mouth. They may have broken off at the gum line or they may not have come in yet. To see and remove the tooth, the dentist or oral surgeon must cut and pull back the gums. Pulling back the gum "flap" provides access to remove bone and/or a piece of the tooth. This allows for the tooth to be removed more easily. The gums are then stitched back together to promote healing and to completely close the surgical site. Usually the suture will be removed in 7-10 days at your post-op visit.


Why do I need an extraction?

If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, our doctors will attempt to fix it with a filling, crown or other treatment. Sometimes, though, there’s too much damage for the tooth to be repaired. This is the most common reason for extracting a tooth.