Treatment guide

Surgical Tooth Extraction

In most cases, a dentist can remove a tooth with a simple extraction procedure. However, sometimes a surgical approach is necessary if the tooth cannot be pulled.

The procedure usually involves removing or moving the gum tissue to gain access to the tooth. In some cases, removal of bone tissue may also be necessary. In this article, we will illustrate how a surgical tooth extraction is performed and what risks and side effects you may expect.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

Surgical Tooth Extraction Quick Details


  • People for whom a simple extraction will not work.

  • People who have experienced a tooth fracture during a simple extraction.

  • People with a submerged or compact wisdom tooth.

  • People with a tooth that has an unusually long root.

  • People with a damaged tooth root.

  • People with denser-than-normal bone around the offending tooth.

  • People undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant surgery.


  • The average surgical tooth extraction can take anything from 30 minutes to two hours.


  • Pain, swelling, and bleeding should subside after the first 24 hours.


  • A "dry socket," which happens when a blood clot doesn't form over the open wound.

  • Infection

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Nausea

  • Excessive swelling

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Surgical Tooth Extraction Costs

The cost surrounding surgical tooth extraction can depend on the dentist you choose and the country in which you have the treatment. Below, we've outlined some average starting costs in a number of different locations. Bear in mind though, that these are not fixed or guaranteed and may vary based on a number of different factors.

CountryPrice (EUR €)

What Is Surgical Tooth Extraction?

Teeth are removed for many different reasons, including overcrowding, decay and chronic pain. In most cases, a dentist is able to "pull" the tooth out in one piece. But when this is not possible, surgical tooth extraction is necessary. When an extraction by forceps is not possible, the dentist or surgeon may need to remove gum and bone tissue. While most procedures can be carried out under local anaesthetic, a general anaesthetic might be required if extensive surgery is required. If the problem is potentially serious, the extraction is usually carried out in a hospital. A maxillofacial surgeon may perform this tricky procedure, along with a small team of assistants.

How Does Surgical Tooth Extraction Work?

1. Anaesthesia

Your dental surgeon will start by giving you a series of injections. Two or more may be needed in your gum, depending on the nature of the problem. There's a chance that you will be offered a general anaesthetic.

2. Incision

A surgical tooth extraction is needed when a simple forceps extraction isn't possible. This may be due to the fact for example, the tooth is broken. To gain access to the tooth a small incision is made within the gum. This provides the dentist with better access to the tooth and the surrounding bone.

3. Tooth Removal

Your surgeon will always try to remove the tooth in a single piece. However, this isn't always possible. In some cases, the safest course of action is to first break the tooth into pieces before extracting each segment individually using special tools.

4. Stitching

Once the surgeon is confident that the entire tooth has been removed, they will use two or three stitches to close the wound. These stitches are usually dissolvable, so you do not need to attend a separate appointment for their removal.

Are There Different Types of Surgical Tooth Extraction?

The methods used for surgical tooth extraction depend on the scale and nature of the problem. After an initial incision, a range of different utensils can be used to extract the tooth. Some surgeons may break the tooth into fragments with a drill. In many cases, exposing more of the tooth can allow for a forceps removal.

What Should I Expect?

A good surgeon will be able to minimise the pain you experience. However, this is invasive surgery, and it will involve a degree of pain - most of which comes after the procedure. Expect to be in surgery for up to two hours. Although most extractions are performed far faster, complications can lead to longer surgeries. Most people are able to undergo surgical tooth extraction with a local anaesthetic. But if the extraction is complex, a general anaesthetic may be necessary. And if this happens, you might need to spend a night or two in hospital. While the actual procedure takes just a matter of minutes, the entire process can take up to 10 days. After an extraction, most people are left with an opening in their gum (where the extracted tooth used to be). You'll need to follow strict eating, drinking and hygiene guidelines for up to 10 days in order to allow the wound to fully heal. This might involve some disruption to your daily routines. You'll need to take care of your wound for several days after your surgery. Your surgeon will talk you through the recovery period before you go in for the procedure.


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