Saving a natural tooth is almost always the best option, but unfortunately, it is not always possible. Teeth are usually removed due to trauma, decay and disease, or overcrowding. Tooth extraction is relatively straightforward in the vast majority of cases, and can usually be performed quickly with a local anesthetic.
Extractions are either “simple” (a tooth is visible above the gum line and it can be removed with forceps) or “surgical” (a tooth is buried under the gum or in the bone, and then it becomes necessary to cut through the gum and remove the bone that is obstructing the tooth, with a surgical drill). This is called an odontectomy. General dentists and all dental specialties perform tooth extraction. However, some teeth are more difficult to remove for reasons usually related to the tooth’s position, the shape of the tooth roots, and the integrity of the tooth. For that reason, your personal dentist may wish to refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to evaluate your teeth and remove them with the appropriate procedure and level of skill. After the tooth is removed, a bone graft is placed if needed with a membrane covering it, and stitches are used to close the gum.