If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay many times it can be repaired with a filling, crown or other dental treatment. However, if there is too much damage, then the tooth may need to be extracted. An extraction is the removal of the tooth from the socket in in the bone.
The following are the two types of extractions:
Simple Extraction - this procedure is on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. For a simple extraction the tooth is loosened and removed.
Surgical Extraction - this is a more complex procedure when the tooth may be broken at the gum line or not erupted in the mouth. The tooth is surgically removed and may require sutures.
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in. They commonly come in during the late teens or early 20s. They need to be removed if they are decayed, cause pain or have a cyst or infection. These teeth often get stuck in the jaw (impacted) and do not come in. This can irritate the gum, causing pain and swelling. In this case, the tooth must be removed. If you need all four wisdom teeth removed, they are usually taken out at the same time.
Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.
When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. It will usually go away on its own, but it causes swelling and pain in the area.