What’s the Difference Between General and Surgical Extraction?

Tooth extraction seems like a straightforward process, and in many ways it is. If a tooth is in a position that poses a threat to the rest of your oral health, or is too severely compromised to restore and save, then extracting it may be necessary. However, the specific method of extracting a tooth can vary, depending on the nature of why it needs to be extracted and the state of its remaining tooth structure. Today, we examine the difference between general and surgical tooth extraction, and the situations that might call for either.

General tooth extraction

General tooth extraction is the simple and straight-forward tooth extraction that most people are familiar with (even if they’ve never had a tooth extracted). It involves firmly grasping a tooth’s crown and gently loosening its root within the socket in your jawbone. Once it’s loose, we can carefully remove it from the socket, ensuring no damage is done to the surrounding jawbone structure and oral tissues. General tooth extraction may be recommended if a tooth is severely fractured or broken, but still retains a strong enough crown to grasp.

Surgical tooth extraction

Surgical tooth extraction is the process of extracting a tooth’s structure by performing surgery to expose the structure first. Using conservative surgical techniques, we can carefully expose the tooth’s crown and root underneath the gum tissues and jawbone structure. Then, we can ensure that all of the tooth’s structure is removed. Surgical tooth extraction may be required when a tooth is too severely damaged to grasp any of its exposed crown structure to remove it, or if the tooth’s root has broken within its socket. One of the most reasons for needing surgical extraction is the impaction of a wisdom tooth, or third molar, that is unable to fully erupt from the jawbone.

Do you need tooth extraction?

Before recommending general or surgical tooth extraction, we’ll thoroughly examine your oral health to determine if surgery is necessary. Utilizing minimally invasive techniques, such as general tooth extraction, is usually the preferable option, and we’ll only recommend surgical extraction when necessary. In many cases, we’ll also suggest planning on replacing the tooth with a dental implant as soon as possible after it’s been extracted to completely restore your smile.

Learn more about tooth extraction

When tooth extraction becomes necessary, the specific reason why will determine whether general or surgical extraction is more appropriate. To learn more about general and surgical tooth extraction, schedule a consultation by calling Santa Rosa Oral Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, today at 707-545-4625.