A tooth extraction, or exodontia, is the removal of a tooth. Reasons for a tooth extraction include decayed or broken teeth. They may also be removed to make room for other teeth or an orthodontia treatment. Throughout history, tooth removal has been used to treat a variety of illnesses before the discovery of antibiotics as chronic tooth infections were linked to a number of ailments. There are two main types of tooth extractions: simple extractions and surgical extractions. Simple extractions are performed on visible teeth in the mouth under local anesthesia.
The tooth is loosened from its socket and then removed with dental forceps. Surgical extraction is a more complicated procedure done on teeth that have broken under the gum line or have not fully erupted and is generally done under general anesthesia. Find out more about tooth extractions and removal, postoperative care, and potential complications.