Tooth Extractions and Bone Grafts

Sometimes teeth need to be removed due to trauma, disease, cavities, periodontal disease, infection, or severe crowding.  No one wants to lose a tooth and we understand the process can be difficult. Our gentle dentists will make sure you are comfortable during the entire process.

What to Expect During your Appointment

When a tooth needs to be extracted, we first numb the area with a local anesthetic.  It is important to inform your dentist of all medications you are taking prior to surgery, as certain medications can cause delayed healing or excessive bleeding.Once we are sure you are numb and comfortable, we will begin the procedure. We use specialized instruments to remove your tooth as atraumaticlally as possible. In some cases, stitches will be placed to help with healing, however in many cases stiches are not needed. We typically use stitches that dissolve, so future stitch removal is not necessary.


Socket Preservation or Bone Grafting

Bone grafts or socket preservation procedures are often recommended once a tooth is extracted.  In most people, removal of the tooth results in shrinkage of the bone.  When considering future replacement options, such as implants, bridges or dentures, shrinkage of the bone can lead to compromised esthetics or a denture which does not fit as well.  If your bone does not grow back to an acceptable level, future bone grafting may be required in order to replace your teeth. This can be much more costly, traumatic, and unpredicable. Socket Preservation utilizes a material to help you grow back bone in the surgical area. This leads to a more predicable result and an increased likelihood of success for your tooth replacement options.

Taking Care of Your Surgical Site

Proper care of your surgical site will make a difference in how well and quickly you heal.  It is important not to smoke after your surgery as this will reduce the blood supply to the surgical site causing delayed healing or a painful dry socket. We also recommend sticking to soft foods and gently rinsing the area. Vigorous rinsing, cleaning, and spitting can lead to the blood clot getting dislodged. Rest and allow your body to heal after surgery.

Some bleeding and oozing of the site is normal for the first few days. If bleeding is heavy give our office a call for advice on how to control it, or for an appointment to get the area evaluated. 

Replacing Your Missing Tooth

Many patients would like to replace their missing tooth, and replacement is highly recommended. Without replacing your missing teeth, the surrounding and opposing teeth can start to move, leading to problems with your bite, pain, mobility and potentially loss of other teeth. Replacement of missing teeth requires time for the surgical extraction site to heal.

Common Tooth replacement options include:

  • Complete (Removable)Dentures
  • Partial (Removable) Dentures
  • Dental Implants
  • Fixed Bridges

The best replacement option varies by tooth and person. For more information on tooth replacement options visit our Service Pages, or call our office for a consultation.