Extractions and Bone Grafts

Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to save a tooth. The tooth or teeth may have a fracture, extensive decay, a failed root canal, or many other unfortunate circumstances. At this point, the only option a person may have is to have the tooth removed (extracted). At Atlantic Dental Associates, we do not extract a tooth without going over options to save the tooth or to restore the space once the tooth is missing. If a person is interested in restoring the space with an implant we always recommend performing a bone graft procedure at the time of the tooth removal. The will ensure that enough bone remains in the extraction site after healing so that an implant may be placed after healing. Also, it may be possible to extract a tooth and immediately place an implant. This reduces the person's time in the dental chair, reduces your surgery appointments by half, and reduces the healing time a person has to wait before having the implant restored by half.


Post Operative Instructions

Following a dental extraction, it is normal to experience light bleeding of the extraction socket. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the extraction site and bite down firmly for 30 minutes to control this. A blood clot will form in the socket: please be careful not to dislodge it. Do not use a straw to drink following your extraction to avoid dislodging the clot. It is an important part of the healing process.

Swelling is normal following a surgical procedure. An ice pack placed on the face for 30 minutes on and off the first day only is helpful. It is normal to experience more swelling the second day after surgery.

Some pain following a surgical procedure is normal. Over the counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen are very effective in controlling dental pain.

Proper nutrition is important following a tooth extraction. Please follow a liquid to soft diet for the first 24-36 hours. Chew on the opposite side and avoid hot liquids.

After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for the first day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid mouthwash, as it can irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed.

After a tooth has been extracted there will be a hollow area in your jawbone where the tooth was removed. We recommend that bone grafting be done at the time of extraction to avoid further bone loss and preserve bone for future implant placement.