When a tooth has become so extensively decayed or damaged that it cannot be preserved, your doctor may recommend extracting it to make way for a replacement restoration. If the tooth requires surgical access to be removed, your doctor will likely perform what is called “a surgical extraction”. During the 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 a 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 as needed to allow for healing. While the site is healing, your doctor can fit you with a temporary tooth to wear in the meantime. When your doctor has determined that the area has sufficiently healed, they will work with you to present treatment options available to you to permanently replace the extracted tooth. If left in place, the damaged tooth could lead to further complications such as infection or decay below the gum line, leading to more costly and extensive procedures in the long term. It is important to work closely with your doctor to devise a treatment plan that best reduces these risks to your oral health.