Oral Surgery (Extractions and Bone Grafts)

EXTRACTIONS

When do I need to get a tooth extracted?

Gum disease can loosen or severely damage a tooth. A tooth that is severely damaged or broken may also need to be removed.

Why are teeth extractions needed?

Removing a tooth is necessary when decay or an abscessed tooth is so severe that no other treatment will cure the infection. Removing the tooth can help keep infection from spreading to other areas of your mouth.

What can I expect during a tooth extraction?

Before removing your tooth, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. You can gently bite down on a cotton gauze pad placed over the wound to help stop the bleeding. The removed tooth can be replaced with an implant, a denture, or a bridge.

After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time, and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed.

What should I expect after a tooth extraction surgery?

In most cases the recovery period lasts only a few days, after the procedure you will be given instructions. We have also provided these instructions on our website under the Forms Page.

The following will help speed the recovery:

  • Take medications as prescribed by your dentist. To help relieve pain and swelling, apply an ice or cold pack to the outside of your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass [8 fl oz. (240 mL)] of warm water. Do not rinse hard. This can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  • Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood.
  • Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
  • Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
  • Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue.
  • Do not use sucking motions, such as when using a straw to drink.
  • Continue to carefully brush your teeth and tongue.

BONE GRAFTING

What is bone grafting?

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.

We now have the ability to grow bone where it is needed. If the bone under your gum is not tall enough, not wide enough or both, you will need a procedure to add bone to your jaw before implants can be placed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width but, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance. This procedure is known as bone grafting and there are different types.

What are the different types of bone grafting treatment?

Bone augmentation is a term that describes a variety of procedures used to “build” bone so that dental implants can be placed. These procedures typically involve grafting (adding) bone or bone-like materials to the jaw. The graft can be your own bone or be processed bone (off the shelf) obtained from a cadaver. After grafting, you have to wait several months for the grafted material to fuse with the existing bone.

Sinus lift procedure: This procedure involves elevating the sinus membrane and placing the bone graft onto the sinus floor, allowing implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw.

Ridge-augmentation: In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and/or width.

Nerve- repositioning: The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants to the lower jaw.

What is the healing process?

Everyone heals differently after a bone augmentation procedure, you will be given antibiotics, pain medication and an antibacterial mouthwash. You will be asked to avoid certain foods and will be told how to avoid putting pressure on the area while it heals. If you wear a denture, you may not be able to wear it for a month or longer while the area heals. If you have natural teeth near the bone graft, your dentist may make a temporary removable bridge.

The bone graft will take about six to nine months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will be removed before the implant is placed.