What is an extraction?

It is the removal of a tooth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, namely; breakage, gum disease, tooth decay or over-crowding. Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontics.

Extractions are categorized as simple or surgical.

Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anaesthetic, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth.

Surgical extractions are performed on teeth they have not erupted fully, usually under general anaesthetic. An example of this would be wisdom teeth. The gum tissue that presides over the tooth is removed, then the connective tissue between the tooth and bone is detached so that the tooth can be removed.

Dentists recommend the removal of the wisdom teeth when they are impacted, if there is an abscess or a cyst or if there is persisting pericoronitis (infection of the gum around wisdom tooth).