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Northwest Oral Surgery Understanding Tooth Extraction Oral Surgeon Looking at X-Ray

Understanding How Tooth Extractions Work

Dental extractions are not just limited to kids with inadequate space or crowding issues. The dental surgical procedure can also apply to older adults, especially when a patient has a significant tooth decay or has been damaged by an accidental impact, such as a car crash.

While sometimes teeth can be saved with fillings and crowns, in severe cases a tooth extraction is the necessary procedure to prevent further problems such as infections and abscesses. Because it involves dental surgery, a tooth extraction needs to be discussed with a provider who is knowledgeable and experienced with the procedure.

Basic Procedure Extraction

 A simple tooth extraction can sometimes be performed by a general dentist. This procedure is performed with a local anesthetic and at a general dentist’s office. The determining factor of a simple tooth extraction is that most of the tooth is intact above the gum line, and the tooth has one root.

Advanced Procedure Extraction

When a tooth extraction is far more complex, additional surgery steps tend to be necessary. This is usually the case when a problem tooth is below the gumline, or the patient needs to be sedated for a successful, smooth procedure. Wisdom teeth removal is a good example of an advanced tooth extraction surgery, especially when more than one tooth needs to be removed in the same session. Complicated scenarios such as crowding of teeth, patients with limited opening and small mouths, bone issues, and patient health concerns can also make an extraction complex and advanced as well.

Generally, such surgeries involve cutting into the gumline to obtain workable access to the tooth. In some cases where the root has grown deep, jaw or bone may need to be removed as well. Both scenarios create additional demands for post-operation care to prevent infection.

Deciding on an Extraction Approach


Every patient should be involved in the discussion of an extraction before it is performed. Understanding what the conditions are that lead up to the need for a tooth removal is essential in understanding why the procedure is the right move for improved oral health. While a general dentist can handle a great number of oral procedures, dental extractions under the care and expertise of an oral surgeon is often times the best decision. An oral surgeon is the preferred choice when things get complicated, or when a patient already has known prior health issues to be aware of. The fact is, not every tooth can be saved, and a removal can help avoid far more serious health problems down the road.

Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery has the right team, training, expertise, and experience for the most complicated of tooth extraction situations.  Call us to find out more and set up an appointment for an evaluation. Don't risk your oral health with general services not equipped for the unique challenges that come with advanced tooth extraction needs and related complication risks.


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