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What is a simple extraction?

When a tooth is visible above the gum line and your dentist can easily remove it with forceps, the procedure is called a simple extraction.

Why is an extraction necessary?

The American Dental Association suggests teeth are usually removed due to trauma, disease, or crowding. When a tooth cannot be repaired with a filling or a crown because of an accident or extensive decay, an extraction may be your best recourse. Teeth that aren’t supported by enough bone due to periodontal disease are also candidates for removal, as are abscessed teeth unresponsive to root canal treatment. It’s also not unusual for an orthodontist to recommend an extraction before starting orthodontic treatment because of crowded teeth. Similarly, wisdom teeth are frequently removed because of the awkward position in which they grow behind molars.

If the dentist suggests a tooth extraction, have the procedure as soon as possible. Postponing it can cause pain, infection, and misalignment.

What is entailed in a simple extraction?

After anesthesia is applied, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator, before using forceps to remove the tooth in a simple extraction.

Regardless of whether your extraction is simple or surgical, it’s always important to closely follow our after-care instructions to help speed recovery and avoid complications. Here are several key steps to remember:

  • Bite down on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the extraction to help stop the bleeding
  • Start with clear liquids and soft foods for the first day
  • Don’t rinse or brush your teeth for 12 hours
  • Gently rinse with diluted mouthwash or 1/4 teaspoon of table salt in a glass of lukewarm water.