Simple extraction (also called “closed extraction”) is a tooth removal procedure that can be accomplished using a traditional “elevator and forcep” or “closed” technique described on this page, as compared to those teeth whose removal requires surgical access. Generally, teeth that are candidates for simple extraction have straight roots and enough tooth structure extending through the gums to apply leverage and hold onto. “Simple” implies that the tooth is not cut into pieces and no incision is made in the gum tissues to gain access to the tooth.
Surgical extraction (also called “open extraction”) is a tooth removal procedure in which surgical access is required to completely remove a tooth. Even if the tooth is visible in the mouth without surgically exposing it, surgical techniques may be necessary to remove the tooth. This includes sectioning the tooth into two or more pieces, whether or not a soft tissue incision is made. Surgical extraction does not mean that the dentist removing the tooth has advanced training in oral surgery, and you should not be billed for a surgical extraction unless the tooth is sectioned into pieces, or an incision into soft tissue is made. Surgical extraction includes removal of impacted wisdom teeth, but this does not mean that all wisdom teeth requiring removal are required to be removed surgically.
Learn more about post-op care for extractions »
The information on this page was referenced from the following site: ToothIQ