A tooth extraction is a procedure that involves the removal of a tooth. An extraction may be necessary for a number of reasons. Most commonly, an extraction is indicated when a tooth is damaged beyond repair as a result of extensive dental decay leading to the presence of pain and infection. Tooth removal may also be necessary in the case of sore wisdom teeth, dental trauma, severe gum (periodontal) disease and for retained primary (deciduous) teeth.
At the discretion of your dental professional or orthodontist, teeth may also be removed to facilitate tooth movement and alignment. There are two types of extractions. The first, being the most common, is a simple extraction. The tooth is loosened then removed from the bone. If, for example, there is not enough tooth structure to grasp to remove the tooth or, if there is a high risk of procedural fracture, your dentist may opt to cut the tooth into pieces and remove them separately, rather than as a whole. Additionally, a small incision may be made in the gum in order to remove some bone which holds the tooth in place to facilitate tooth removal. This is known as a surgical extraction.