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Oral Surgery/Root canal tooth extraction


Greetings, I have a root canal that has gone bad and the majority of the tooth fell off leaving just small pieces of teeth in my gum. I have had these pieces of teeth for more than 10 years. A dentist suggests to get these pieces extracted to prevent infection and get an implant done. He though doesn't want to extract the pieces of tooth, he prefers to refer me to an oral surgeon. My previous dentist instead was comfortable extracting these pieces and would have done it for a quarter of the cost the oral surgeon charges. So my question is: why would I need an oral surgeon to do this? Aren't extractions easy to do that any dentist can do it? Why does one dentist want to do it and the other wants to refer me to an oral surgeon? Also, last month a small piece fell out, leaving only one small piece left. After this small piece fell out, the area hurts a bit when I brush there. Any idea why? Are there chances the other piece may just fall out as well, and I will have all my problems solved? thank you for your time!

Mary -  First of all, what part of the tooth remaining that you can see, is probably just the tip of the iceberg.  The majority of the remaining tooth is most likely its roots and they are the most difficult to remove.  It is very important, especially if you are planning to replace the tooth with an implant or even a bridge, that trauma during the extraction does not occur.  Often that trauma affects the bone and often makes it take a long time to heal and it leaves the bone unable to properly accept any replacement for a few months.

So to prevent this and insure a less traumatic extraction, the surgeon should be the one.  Having seen many dentists attempt extractions of similar teeth, the result is often not very pretty to look at the and the patient is often in pain for quite a while.  

So if you are only concerned about the cost and not the result, go to the dentist, but if you want an extraction that has much less trauma and heals quicker, see the surgeon.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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