If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist may recommend fixing it with a filling or crown. However, when there’s too much damage for the tooth to be repaired, the tooth may need to be extracted (removed).
A simple extraction is the removal of a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. For a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then the dentist uses forceps to remove the tooth.
A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure that is used if a tooth has broken off at the gum line or has not erupted in the mouth. The dentist may remove bone or make an incision in your gums to help remove the broken or impacted tooth.