Tooth extraction - the removal of a tooth seems fairly self explanatory. However extractions can vary between removing a loose deciduous (baby) tooth and removing a buried wisdom tooth.
There are many reasons to extract a tooth, possibly because it is so badly damaged by trauma, dental caries or gum disease that there is no other option, maybe to make space in a teenagers mouth so that the rest of their teeth can be straightened with a brace.
Most extractions are fairly simple and painless, occasionally a surgical approach is required, this means making a cut in the gum then the tooth is loosened by drilling and finally it is removed, often using little levers to push the tooth out. Sutures (stitches) are often used to close the socket and stop any bleeding.
There are many old wives tales about wisdom teeth, most have no basis in fact , a wisdom tooth is no more than just another tooth.
They can become troublesome because they try to come through much later than the rest of your teeth and often there is not enough space for them.
This is known as 'impaction'. A wisdom tooth is impacted if it has come part way through the gum and then becomes 'stuck' either because there isn't enough space at the back of your mouth or because the tooth is erupting at the wrong angle (tilted).
These days we would only recommend extraction of a wisdom tooth if it causes problems such as swollen or infected gum, decay of either the wisdom tooth or the tooth directly in front of the wisdom tooth, gum abscess around the tooth in front or cheek biting.
Not every one develops wisdom teeth and it is common to have less than four develop.
If a wisdom tooth manages to erupt fully and fit into your mouth it is treated as just another tooth and if it subsequently requires extraction it should be a simple and straight forward extraction.
Contrary to popular belief, wisdom teeth do not push your other teeth forward and make them crowded. Your teeth are just as likely to become crowded as you grow older whether or not you have had your wisdom teeth extracted.