When You Need A Tooth Extracted

Tooth extractions are usually done as a last resort. There are many ways to save a tooth today including dental fillings, root canals, and the crown procedure. However, sometimes an extraction is the only choice, for instance in the case of an infection that won’t seem to heal even with antibiotics. Root canal treatment is not appropriate for an infected tooth. Also, certain medical issues may require extraction rather than a filling or canal procedure. Your dentist will definitely save your tooth if he or she can, but if not you may need to have your tooth extracted.

Why an Extraction

Although today’s dentists have a main goal in mind–to save as much healthy tooth structure as possible–there are times when extracting a tooth is required. Some of these times include extracting wisdom teeth if they are impacted, erupting crooked, or there is not enough room for them to erupt at all. If you are getting ready to receive orthodontic treatment you may also need one or more teeth extracted. Extracting certain teeth will make room to straighten your other teeth when getting braces. Other reasons include:

  • An infection that won’t heal
  • Trauma
  • To prepare for dentures
  • Periodontal disease

Above or Below the Gum Line

There are two types of extraction procedures. If your tooth has already erupted and is above the gum line the extraction procedure is simple. A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area and your dentist will gently loosen and remove the tooth using dental forceps.

If the tooth is an impacted wisdom tooth, however, that has yet to erupt, a surgical procedure will be necessary. A general anesthetic will be administered and minor surgery will be performed.


Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly welcome patients of all ages from Cerritos, CA, and all surrounding communities, such as Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and more.