What is a dental extraction?

A dental extraction (also referred to as exodontia) is the term used to describe removing a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are a common treatment in dental practices, with many options for performing the procedure, controlling pain and replacing the extracted tooth, if recommended.


Reasons for dental extractions

Dr. Hoffenberg or Dr. Amin might recommend that one or more teeth be extracted for the following reasons:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth (third molars)
  • Severe tooth decay or infection
  • “Extra” teeth that block other teeth from emerging
  • Severe gum disease that affects the bone
  • Creating space in the mouth prior to orthodontic treatment (braces)
  • Fractures that cannot be restored with bonding or other procedures
  • Specialized radiation treatments to the head and neck

What does an extraction involve?

Extractions fall into two categories: simple and surgical. If a tooth is visible in the mouth, a simple extraction can usually be performed. Dr. Hoffenberg or Dr. Amin will use a local anesthetic injection to numb the area. Then, they will use special dental instruments to “wiggle” the tooth several times to loosen and then pull it from the mouth.

For teeth that are mostly or completely covered by gum tissue, Dr. Hoffenberg or Dr. Amin will perform a surgical extraction. After numbing the surgical area,they will cut the gum and move the flap to reveal the tooth. They will remove the tooth, either whole or in pieces.

For hours or days afterward, your mouth may still be sensitive at the surgical site. This sensitivity will decrease as the inflammation diminishes and the tissues have healed.

You will be given care instructions after your surgery, including a list of foods to avoid for the first day or two and good oral hygiene practices during the recovery period and for the long term.