When a third molar, or a wisdom tooth, becomes impacted or oriented in a way that jeopardizes the health of your surrounding teeth, bone and tissue, your doctor may recommend extracting it. If the tooth requires surgical access to be removed, your doctor will likely perform what is called “a surgical extraction”. During a surgical extraction, your doctor numbs the area and uses hand instruments to clear a path in the surrounding soft tissue to ease the removal of the tooth. Sometimes, this also includes removing bony obstructions, or dividing the tooth into smaller pieces to facilitate the extraction. After the tooth has been removed, your doctor will clean the area and may suture it closed to allow for healing. They will monitor your progress and advise you when the area has sufficiently healed. With the wisdom tooth removed, the potential damage to the surrounding teeth, bone and tissue has been eliminated, as well as any threat of infection.