While our goal at Waterstone Family Dentistry is to help our patients preserve their teeth, there are times when a tooth cannot be saved. The removal of a tooth from the jawbone is known as a dental extraction.

Some of the reasons for extracting a tooth include tooth abscess or infection, tooth fracture or crack, tooth cavity, bone loss, tooth looseness, or tooth impaction (such as when a wisdom tooth is covered by bone or gum tissue). A baby tooth might need to be removed if it has not fallen out by the appropriate age and is causing the adult tooth to erupt into the jawbone in an unfavorable position.

When might a wisdom tooth need to be removed? When it causes pain or infection; when it is covered partially by gum tissue making it difficult to keep clean; and when it leans sideways and causes a cavity on the tooth adjacent to it.

At Waterstone Family Dentistry, we strive to make the tooth extraction process as pain free and atraumatic as possible. We accomplish this by ensuring the patient is adequately numb before we begin so that only pressure is felt during the process. We also treat any infection with antibiotics prior to removing the tooth.

Ridge Preservation

When a tooth is removed from the jawbone, the remaining bone begins to recede almost immediately and continues to do so until something is placed in the socket.  It is estimated that 40 to 60% bone loss occurs within the first two to three years after a tooth extraction.  This happens because the jawbone needs the tooth roots to remain stable.

If our patients are not ready to replace the extracted tooth with an implant, we recommend ridge preservation or bone graft to halt the bone loss and to maintain the bone for when the tooth replacement process will begin.

A synthetic bone forming material otherwise known as a bone graft is placed in the empty tooth socket.   This helps to preserve the bone height, width and thickness and stimulates the growth of new bone.

If we can answer any questions about tooth extractions or tooth replacements, call us today.

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