Tooth extraction, or tooth removal, is a procedure that a dentist performs when a tooth is too badly damaged to be restored with a filling or crown. Pain that persists even after a filling, crown, or root canal treatment is another indication that extraction may be necessary. Other reasons for tooth extraction include when there isn't enough tooth left above the gums, new infections after one or more endodontic treatments, and root fractures that give the tooth a hopeless prognosis. Up to 40% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have teeth in poor condition, which can lead to the need for extraction.
The healing process after tooth extraction typically takes no more than two weeks. Most people experience relief within the first 24 to 48 hours and there are usually no complications. Infections are the only issue that can cause problems.