Surgical Extractions vs. Simple (non-surgical) Extractions
An extraction can be classified as either a simple (non-surgical) extraction or a surgical extraction. In a simple extraction, a tooth can be simply removed with forceps. A surgical extraction is a more invasive procedure. It involves cutting the gum and removing some bone to provide better access to a tooth. Frequently, the tooth is split into multiple pieces to be removed. Stitches are most often required to close the extraction site for proper healing.
Reasons for Surgical Extractions
By examining your tooth and an x-ray of the tooth, a dentist can usually tell if it will be a simple or surgical extraction. However, a simple extraction could turn into a surgical extraction if the tooth breaks off during the procedure.
Indications for surgical extractions include:
- Teeth resistant to normal extraction with moderate force
- Teeth that are severely broken down
- Retained roots
- Impacted teeth
- Dense, unyielding bone around the tooth
- Ankylosed teeth (teeth fuse to jaw bone)
- Abnormal teeth
- Teeth with multiple and unfavorable (long, curved) roots
- Teeth that are close to vital structures (nerves, arteries, etc.)