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What is a surgical extraction?

A more complex procedure than a simple extraction, the surgical extraction is performed if a tooth may have broken off at the gumline or has not yet erupted in the mouth, as is often the case with wisdom teeth. The oral surgeon makes a small incision into your gum to surgically remove the broken tooth or impacted wisdom tooth.

Why would a surgical extraction be necessary?

There are times when a simple extraction turns into a surgical one. If a tooth breaks off during the procedure, for instance, it may need to be taken out in pieces.

Wisdom teeth often face surgical extraction because they’re usually impacted, meaning, as mentioned above, that they are not yet fully erupted into the mouth. This condition requires cutting through bone and tissue. Removing severely broken-down teeth, root tips, or teeth with long-curved roots are other examples of why you would need surgical extraction.

What is involved in surgical extraction?

X-raying the area will determine the treatment you need. If the tooth has broken or is not fully emerged, you’ll need a much stronger anesthesia than if it were a simple extraction. If given deep anesthesia, carefully follow the surgeon’s instructions about eating and drinking before surgery. And arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.

The extraction itself begins by gaining access to the tooth, usually by opening the gum tissue with a small incision to expose the root or bone. With more difficult teeth, a sectioning technique is used to make removal easier. Once the tooth is removed, sutures may be required to close the extraction site.

When the extraction is over, expect to experience some swelling and pain. This is completely normal and actually is a part of the healing process, but you can reduce discomfort by placing ice packs on top of the swollen areas. If your jaw is stiff once the swelling subsides, use warm compresses to relieve soreness.