What is an extraction?

A tooth extraction is a dental procedure during which your tooth is completely removed from its socket.

Healthcare providers prefer to save natural teeth whenever possible. But sometimes, other restorative methods — such as dental fillings or dental crowns — aren’t enough

If your tooth has been badly damaged past the point of repair, then removal may be necessary.

Your dentist will assess your affected tooth and surrounding gums. Your dentist will also take dental X-rays to check bone levels and determine the extent of damage. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications, vitamins or supplements you’re taking. 

First, local anesthesia is given to numb your affected tooth and surrounding gum tissue. Using specialized dental instruments, your dentist will gently loosen your tooth and carefully lift it from its socket.

Sometimes, your dentist might need to make incisions in your gums to access your tooth — especially if your tooth is badly decayed or has broken off at the gum line. Once your tooth is removed, the socket is cleaned and disinfected.

When the procedure is complete, your dentist will place a piece of gauze over the extraction site and ask you to close down with firm, steady pressure.

Tooth extraction offers a number of benefits. Most importantly, it reduces harmful bacteria that can damage your teeth and gums. Left untreated, a decayed or damaged tooth can wreak havoc on your smile, causing a domino effect of problems. Removing your affected tooth gives you the best chance for optimal oral health. Additionally, a tooth extraction can help ease dental pain almost immediately — especially if your tooth was severely broken or infected.