What’s the difference between a simple extraction and a surgical extraction?
There are many different types of extractions, but the two most common are the simple extraction and the surgical extraction. The simple extraction usually takes much less time and is completed by using instruments known as elevators and forceps. These are straightforward procedures in which pressure is applied to specific areas on the tooth, gums, and bone in order to loosen the tooth and eventually remove it from the socket. Placement of a suture may be necessary.
A surgical extraction is a little more complicated and involves either removal of bone around the tooth, or the partitioning of the tooth into different pieces before the tooth is extracted. This is much more common with molars, which have multiple roots, and often need to be removed root by root. For these procedures, in addition to the elevators and forceps used in a simple extraction, the dentist may use a special drill in order to section the tooth. In this procedure, placement of sutures is almost always necessary.
When you can see a lot of remaining tooth structure, usually a simple extraction is all that is needed to remove the tooth. However, if the tooth breaks during the extraction, it may necessitate the removal of the tooth piece by piece with the aid of a drill, making the procedure a surgical extraction. In cases where very little tooth structure is remaining, surgical extractions are more likely because there is less tooth structure to engage with our usual instruments, and the only way to remove the tooth is piece by piece.
This can be confusing to patients, and if you have any questions about your specific situation, please give us a call at (301) 963-0800, and we’ll be happy to talk to you!