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Tooth Extraction and Bone Grafting

At Eastern Virginia Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we strive to preserve healthy teeth whenever possible; however, in certain cases, a tooth affected by very severe damage or decay cannot be saved. In such instances, we can remove the tooth in a process called “tooth extraction.” While we typically only extract teeth as a last resort, removing an infected tooth can benefit the entire mouth in several ways. Each of our devoted dentists has extensive experience performing tooth extractions using advanced surgical techniques and well-honed skill. For years, our patients have trusted us to safely remove affected teeth to effectively restore oral health.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction?

Teeth affected by the following may need to be extracted:

As stated above, our team will rule out every other course of action before determining that extraction is the best option for you. If you are deemed a candidate for extraction, we can thoroughly discuss the plan with you beforehand to ensure as comfortable a process as possible.

How Is the Tooth Extraction Procedure Performed? 

A tooth extraction is an extremely routine—and generally very straightforward—procedure. The particular strategy used will depend on the size, location, and condition of the tooth that needs extracting. For instance, teeth that have fully erupted (or properly grown) through the gumline may not require any incision, whereas impacted teeth (or teeth that have failed to erupt) may warrant minor surgery, as is often the case with wisdom teeth. Rest assured that your dentist will thoroughly examine your entire mouth before deciding upon a surgical technique.

Stitches are sometimes necessary to stabilize the surrounding tissues. In some cases, patients will need to return for a suture removal visit; but oftentimes when sutures are necessary, the doctor can use a resorbable suture, which will go away on its own. Because local anesthesia is generally used during extractions, we recommend patients arrange for a family member or friend to drive them home.

What Type of Tooth Extraction Aftercare Is Needed? 

Immediately following the procedure, you will be given gauze to facilitate the stability of the initial clot. Depending on the extent of treatment, you may be prescribed antibiotics or pain medication, though over-the-counter anti-inflammatories are often sufficient. 

We advise patients to refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol, using a straw, and spitting for the first few days following the extraction, as these habits can disrupt the healing process. You should ice the area for the first day, and it is recommended to sleep with an extra pillow that evening to help keep the area elevated. You may brush the surrounding teeth, but you should not brush in the extraction site. Starting the day after the surgery, patients can rinse gently with a warm salt water rinse and let it roll out of their mouth so as to minimize stress on the clot, which is necessary to ensure proper healing.

For each patient, your doctor will provide you with personalized recovery instructions to help ensure proper healing.

What Is Bone Grafting? 

Bone grafting can be an excellent option for patients who lack strength or density in their jawbone after extraction. Also referred to as “pre-prosthetic surgery”, bone grafting is also often used to prepare for dental implant surgery, a procedure which relies on adequate jawbone strength. During treatment, bone mass can be replenished using bone from elsewhere in the patient’s mouth or body, or, if the patient would prefer, a synthetic alternative. Like extractions, bone grafts are extremely routine, and performed in the interest of preserving jawbone strength.  

Missing Teeth Replacement 

Depending on your individual needs and goals, our dentists can help you choose from a number of tooth replacement options after extraction. Some of the most popular restorative treatments include: 

How Much Does Tooth Extraction Cost? 

The cost of tooth extraction is contingent upon several factors, such as: 

We can determine a more specific cost estimate for your extraction during your consultation. Please feel free to explore our dental financing options, which include most PPO dental plans and major credit cards. We also offer select plans, including our own Dental Wellness Plan, to help eligible patients pay for treatment in convenient installments.

For more information about tooth extraction and bone grafting, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.