When a tooth has become so extensively decayed or damaged that it cannot be saved, your dentist may recommend extracting it.
In a simple extraction, your tooth is removed without surgery. Your doctor applies slight pressure with a specially designed instrument to gently and gradually ease the tooth from the socket. Once the tooth has been removed, your doctor will clean the area so the healing process can begin. When the area has sufficiently healed, your doctor will discuss treatment options to permanently replace the extracted tooth.
If the tooth requires surgical access to be removed, your doctor will likely perform what is called a surgical extraction. During a surgical extraction, your doctor numbs the area and uses hand instruments to clear a path in the surrounding soft tissue to ease the removal of the tooth. Sometimes this also includes removing bony obstructions or dividing the tooth into smaller pieces to facilitate the extraction. After the tooth has been removed, your doctor will clean the area and may suture it closed as needed to allow for healing.