007: No Simple Extractions

I revisit my belief that continual learning is key to better patient outcomes. I also maintain that having a coach accelerates growth.

I introduce a new belief: dentists should eliminate the phrase “simple extraction.” I see it as my mission to end the use of this term.

There is no such thing as a Simple Extraction

  • The ADA code D7140 does not say “simple.” It just describes erupting a tooth with an elevator or forceps.
  • I feel insurance companies have popularized the term pay less. But there are risks even with seemingly straightforward extractions.
  • Reviewers judge based only on the X-ray, not the full patient picture. But many complicating issues can make a “simple” case complex.
  • Prefacing with “simple” also downplays the procedure's importance to patients. This can inhibit them from sharing critical health histories.
  • Dentists aren't paid merely for procedure time, but for skill and expertise that make it look quick and seamless.


  • I suggest coding appropriately per ADA descriptors, but dropping the word "simple"—call it extraction or forcep extraction.
  • Scrub websites and training; catch yourself using the term and correct it.
  • My mission is to get all dentists to quit saying “simple extraction” given the risks involved.