Surgical tooth extractions (also called “open extractions”) are tooth removal procedures in which surgical access is required to completely remove a tooth. Even if the tooth is visible in the mouth without surgically exposing it, surgical techniques may be necessary to remove the tooth.
This includes sectioning the tooth into two or more pieces, whether or not a soft tissue incision is made. Surgical extraction does not necessarily mean that the dentist removing the tooth has advanced training in oral surgery, and you will generally not be billed for surgical tooth extractions unless the tooth is sectioned into pieces, or an incision into soft tissue is made. Surgical tooth extractions include removal of impacted wisdom teeth (third molars), but this does not mean that all wisdom teeth requiring removal are required to be removed surgically.
Removal (extraction) of a tooth is prescribed if the tooth is too extensively damaged from decay or trauma to be fixable, or if it is infected and the patient is not a candidate for endodontic (root canal) treatment.
It is also frequently prescribed when the teeth of one or both dental arches are severely crowded, and straightening the teeth would require unnecessarily complex orthodontic with a potentially compromised treatment outcome.
Most commonly, either two or four bicuspid teeth are removed in such cases, and generally they are removed by “simple”, not surgical technique. Sometimes the decision to remove a tooth is based on cost, if the procedures required to restore it would involve significant expense. This is especially true if the prognosis for the tooth (i.e. likelihood of long-term success) is not good. Wisdom tooth removal is frequently recommended, and ideally prescribed in the late teens to early twenties, if it is apparent that these teeth will not fit in the jaws in a normal bite relationship with normal gum tissue contours.
Extensively damaged teeth, and teeth with multiple curved roots frequently require extraction by surgical technique when removal is necessary. Teeth which have been endodontically treated and later need to be removed for some reason, frequently require surgical technique as their roots tend to be more brittle.
Wisdom teeth extraction
Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing any pain or other problems, they may cause problems at some point. The most common problems are decay, infection and crowding or damage to other teeth. Teeth next to the wisdom teeth are more prone to developing gum problems. Our team of dentists will be able to identify if extractions are needed and will either do it in office or refer you to one of our oral surgeon specialists.
Wisdom tooth removal is frequently recommended, and ideally prescribed in the late teens to early twenties, if it is apparent that these teeth will not fit in the jaws in a normal bite relationship with normal gum tissue contours.