A tooth extraction may be necessary for many reasons, including severe damage or decay. One of the most common dental procedures, a tooth extraction can eliminate bacteria and improve your overall oral health. It is a dental procedure during which your tooth is completely removed from its socket. Sometimes, people refer to this as “pulling” a tooth.

When is tooth extraction recommended?

Healthcare providers prefer to save natural teeth whenever possible. But sometimes, other restorative methods — such as dental fillings or dental crowns — aren’t enough. If your tooth has been badly damaged past the point of repair, then removal may be necessary. While Dr. Hudimac performs plenty of extractions, more complex cases may be referred out to an oral surgeon.

Tooth extraction offers a number of benefits. Most importantly, it reduces harmful bacteria that can damage your teeth and gums. Left untreated, a decayed or damaged tooth can wreak havoc on your smile, causing a domino effect of problems. Removing your affected tooth gives you the best chance for optimal oral health. Additionally, a tooth extraction can help ease dental pain almost immediately — especially if your tooth was severely broken or infected.

What are the risks or complications of tooth extraction?

Like any surgical procedure, tooth extraction carries a small risk of complications. While these complications are rare they include:

  • Post-surgical infection.
  • Dry socket.
  • Nerve injury.
  • Perforation of maxillary sinus.
  • Delayed healing.

Socket Grafting

What is socket grafting for ridge preservation?

When you are facing a tooth extraction, there are many important things to consider.  One is whether or not you plan to replace the extracted tooth in the future.  If you do, and a dental implant is one of the treatment options, a bone graft to preserve the tooth socket may be necessary.

What is a Socket Preservation Bone Graft?

A socket preservation bone graft is a dental procedure that takes place at the same visit as the tooth extraction.  After Dr. Hudimac removes the tooth, he will place bone graft material directly into the socket where the tooth’s roots were.  The bone graft material itself can come from a variety of sources.  Some products are completely synthetic while others contain human or animal bone.  (There is no organic matter in these products, simply bony granules.)

The bone graft material looks like small white particles about the size of kosher salt.  It provides a matrix in the empty socket into which your natural bone can grow and heal.  The goal of this material is to promote your body’s bone to completely fill in the “holes” left by the tooth extraction.

What are the Advantages of a Socket Preservation Bone Graft?

The jawbone’s only purpose is to hold teeth.  When we remove a tooth, the bone naturally shrinks in both width and height.  This shrinkage could prevent you from being able to replace the missing tooth with a dental implant in the future.  A socket preservation bone graft slows down the shrinkage process and preserves the natural width and height of jawbone in the site where the tooth was pulled.

A socket preservation graft is a simple procedure completed immediately after the tooth extraction.  Unlike other types of bone grafts, no additional surgical procedure is necessary.  The surgeon simply places the material into the socket, covers it with a collagen plug or membrane, and places stitches to hold everything in place while it heals.  Because it is part of the extraction appointment, you are already numb, and very little additional time in the chair is necessary.

Because of the ease of placement immediately after the extraction, socket preservation bone grafts are also less expensive than other types of bone grafts that are necessary to replace bone that was lost.  Preserving is always easier and less expensive than rebuilding!