Though our adult teeth are meant to last a lifetime, sometimes, for the health of the entire mouth, a tooth simply must go! Some situations that warrant a tooth extraction include impacted teeth, or teeth that are positioned incorrectly in the mouth or jaw; a tooth that is causing overcrowding in the mouth; a severely decayed tooth; a broken tooth that cannot be repaired; periodontal (gum) disease; and in preparation for orthodontic treatments.
Simple Vs. Surgical Extractions
There are two basic categories of tooth extraction: simple and surgical.
Simple extractions are performed when a tooth is showing above the gum line and can be removed simply with forceps. The process and healing time for simple extractions are both quite quick.
Surgical extractions are for more complex cases, in which the dentist must remove gum tissue or even bone in order to remove the tooth. Some cases in which this type of extraction are necessary if a tooth has broken below the gum line, or quite commonly, for impacted wisdom teeth. Patients who undergo a surgical extraction will be usually be prescribed a painkiller and experience some swelling in the face near the site of extraction for a few days.