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Severe decay, damage or inadequate space in the mouth are reasons for the need for an extraction. Wisdom teeth are often removed as there is often no room for them. Occasionally they are impacted at an angle and require the patient be sedated for surgical removal. There are two types of extractions: Simple (local anesthetic is used and the visible tooth is grasped with forceps. Steady pressure is applied to loosen, then remove, the tooth.) Surgical extraction is necessary when the tooth is not easy to access (such as impacted wisdom teeth), and an incision is made to gain access to the tooth.

Extractions do not come without possible complications, but with proper care healing is complete within weeks (depending on type of tooth removal). Some complications may include dry socket, infection, prolonged bleeding, swelling, sinus exposure or nerve injury. With proper after-care and a course of antibiotics, the chance of infection is minimal.