What Is the Process of Extracting a Broken Tooth?

In some cases, a dentist extracts a broken tooth by lifting the tooth with an elevator and removing it with forceps, while in cases where a tooth has broken off below the gum line, surgical extraction may be necessary, says Colgate. Surgical extraction can be done by a general dentist or an oral surgeon and involves making a small cut in the gum to enable removal of the broken tooth.

To extract a broken tooth using forceps, the dentist administers local anesthesia and uses an elevator or forceps to loosen and extract the tooth, explains Falmouth Dental Associates. This is the same procedure that is used to extract non-broken teeth in most cases. While simple extractions may cause some discomfort, over-the-counter painkillers are usually sufficient to relieve pain.

For surgical extraction in complex cases, the tooth may be broken into pieces for easier removal, reports Falmouth Dental Associates. Dissolving stitches are used to close the incision in the gum. In some cases, general anesthesia or mild sedation is used in addition to local anesthesia. Dental patients may have more pain and discomfort after a surgical extraction. Dentists often prescribe stronger pain medication, and pain usually subsides after several days. Full healing after surgical extraction can take one to two weeks.