Tooth extraction refers to the removal of a tooth from its socket. Extraction is necessary when a tooth cannot be rehabilitated, such as when a tooth has extensive decay or is broken or cracked beyond repair. Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that do not have enough space to properly grow in the mouth may also require extraction.
Tooth extraction can be simple or surgical. Simple tooth extraction is an in-office procedure and usually performed on a tooth that is visible in the mouth. Surgical tooth extraction is performed on teeth that are difficult to see or reach (such as wisdom teeth), or teeth that have broken off at the gum line. During surgical extraction, a local anesthetic may be used to minimize pain, and may require removing bone, lifting or removing gum tissue to access the tooth.