What is it and what is it used for?

A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. If a tooth is damaged or broken your dentist will try to save the tooth with a crown, filling, or other treatment. However, if there is too much damage to the tooth it may not be possible to save. If so, the tooth will need to be extracted before any further problems occur.


There are two types of extractions:

    • A simple extraction

      This is only performed on a tooth that can be seen inside of the mouth. Simple extractions are the most common in general dentistry. To complete the procedure, the dentist loosens the tooth using an instrument called an elevator and is removed with forceps.

    • A surgical extraction

      A surgical extraction is much more complex than a simple extraction. It is usually used if a tooth is broken at the gum line, or has not erupted in the mouth. Normally, oral maxillofacial surgeons perform this procedure, but general dentists can as well. In order to complete this procedure, a small incision must be made before removing the impacted or broken tooth.


Most simple extractions are done using a local anesthetic. In addition, you may also receive drugs to help you relax. For a surgical extraction, you will receive a local anesthetic as well possibly followed by anesthesia.

If you are receiving conscious sedation you may be given steroids to help reduce pain and swelling after the procedure is complete. It is normal to feel pressure, but not pain! If you feel any pain tell your dentist as soon as possible!

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