Tooth Extractions and Bone Grafting

We understand the anxiety that arises when a patient is told a tooth can no longer be treated. We provide both simple and surgical extractions in a caring, gentle atmosphere.

Reasons for a tooth extraction

There are numerous situations in which a simple extraction can help alleviate pain or prepare you for another cosmetic or restorative procedure.  Some common reasons for extraction include:

  • Advanced periodontal disease that has loosened the tooth roots
  • Extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth
  • Preparing a patient for orthodontic treatment
  • Removing a fractured or malformed tooth
  • Severe tooth decay which cannot be remedied with root canal therapy

How is a tooth extracted?

As a precaution, the dentist will first take X-rays of the tooth or teeth in question, to help plan the procedure.  After preparing a method of extraction, you will be given a local anesthetic that will prevent you from feeling pain during the procedure.  Next, the dentist will use a tool called an elevator to lift the tooth and loosen ligaments and gum tissue around the base of the tooth.  Finally, the dentist will use a pair of forceps, to gently rock the tooth back and forth until it breaks free of the ligaments holding it in the gum tissue.  Occasionally, a stubborn tooth will resist the dentist’s soft tug, refusing to come out.  In these and more complex cases, the tooth may need to be broken up into smaller pieces for removal. 

Once removed, we will pack gauze into the socket and have you place pressure on the area by biting down.  If necessary, the dentist will place stitches to close the socket.

What is Bone Grafting at the time of an extraction?

Whenever a dental implant is planned at the site of an extraction, we will usually recommend a bone graft be completed at the time of extraction. This is a process where an bone substitute is placed in the extraction socket, a covering is placed over it called a membrane and the gums are stitched over it. The purpose of the bone graft is to minimize the bone loss that occurs once a tooth is extracted to allow for adequate bone at the time of implant placement. After the bone graft is completed, it typically takes 3-6 months until the implant can be placed.

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.