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Contrary to what you might believe, tooth extraction is a complex procedure that requires more work than simply “pulling out the tooth.” Often times, an extraction procedure can require sedation, oral surgery tools and a team of multiple dental professionals. Likewise, extraction manifests itself in differing forms depending on the reason for the extraction in question. Today we’ll take a look at the two types of tooth extractions and how they differ:

Simple Extractions

Though “simple extraction” might be a misleading term since you can’t just have anyone off the street perform the procedure, simple extractions are comparatively less complicated compared to their cousin, the “surgical extraction.” The primary differentiating characteristic of a simple extraction is that the tooth is visible to the naked eye. In other words, the tooth isn’t hidden beneath the gumline or unable to erupt for some reason. Likewise, simple extractions are slightly more complicated than simply pulling a loose tooth. The patient is given local anesthetic, the tooth is raised by a tool known as an elevator, and then it is slowly rocked back and forth by forceps until removed. Thanks to technology and sedation, simple extractions can be performed relatively quickly by dentists and oral surgeons.

Surgical Extractions

The more complicated of the two extraction types, surgical extractions entail the removal of a tooth that is not easily accessible. This may be because the tooth broke beneath the gumline in its developmental stages, did not fully erupt from the gum line, or as a preventative measure to hinder the growth of a tooth that will be impacted and cause pain. Perhaps the most common type of surgical extraction known is wisdom tooth extraction (unless they’ve already erupted). Many patients elect to have their wisdom teeth removed prior to their eruption due to foreseeable problems and thus require a surgical extraction. In general, surgical extractions use a general anesthetic and take longer to perform than a standard, simple extraction.

If you’re in need of a tooth extraction — simple or surgical — or simply have questions don’t hesitate to contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. Our team has a history of performing all types of tooth extractions and will ensure that you are taken care of.