When to Get a Tooth Extracted and What is a Bone Graft?

Anticipating the unknown can be scary, especially when it comes to dental work. Many patients feel anxious when they run across an unfamiliar term or have to undergo a dental procedure. As the emergency dentist Virginia Beach residents rely on for great care, we are always glad to explain these terms and procedures.

Of the many questions we hear, the most common have to do with tooth extractions and bone grafts. Some patients need both procedures - they start with a tooth extraction then benefit from a bone graft.

 Here is some of the most important information about bone grafts and when to get a tooth extracted.

When to Get a Tooth Extracted

A tooth extraction, also known as “getting a tooth pulled,” is only done as a last resort. In most cases, dentists will suggest other tooth-sparing treatments before agreeing to pull a tooth.

You may need to have a tooth extracted if advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, has damaged the bone that holds the tooth in place. Periodontitis is a gum infection - without treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of the gum, the jawbone, and even the rest of the body.

A tooth extraction may be necessary when the tooth is so badly damaged that it cannot be fixed with a dental crown, filling, or root canal therapy. Tooth removal may also be the right choice when you continue to experience pain after undergoing one of those dental treatments.

Emergency tooth removal may be necessary in cases of broken teeth, severe pain, massive cracks in your teeth, and other scenarios that put your oral health at risk.

Once the tooth is gone, you’ll need to replace it. If you don’t replace the tooth, the adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space the lost tooth leaves behind, and this can lead to crooked teeth and other oral health problems. A missing tooth also affects the cosmetic appeal of your smile, and may make it hard to speak or eat normally. Let’s think about it this way - Imagine playing your favorite sport and one of your players gets benched or removed from the game, but you still have to play the game. That’s essentially what is happening. When we lose teeth, we like to eat the same diet and do what we normally do without change, but it will do more harm than good in the long run.

Dentists often replace missing teeth with a dental implant or dental bridge. A dental implant is a metal post (now some ceramic/zirconia) inserted into the jaw to act like an artificial tooth root; it holds a dental bridge (if several teeth are removed) or crown that looks like a natural tooth. A dental bridge is an artificial tooth that is joined to adjacent teeth or dental implant.

Both a dental implant and a bridge rely on healthy teeth and gums for long-lasting success. They also require strong, healthy bone tissue to help them stay in place. In many cases, a tooth extraction is necessary because gum infections or other dental health problems weaken the jawbone and reinforcement is needed, hence the need for a graft.

After your tooth is gone, your body will begin to absorb the bone around the missing tooth. This natural process decreases the amount of bone supporting your adjacent teeth. It also reduces the strength of your jawbone, putting your remaining teeth in peril.

Tooth extraction cost

The cost of a tooth extraction may be lower than you think - a simple extraction may cost $50 to $300. More complicated cases or surgery and the type of anesthesia you require may cost more.

What is a Bone Graft?

Dentists often perform bone grafts alongside tooth extractions. More specifically, they place bone grafts into the empty socket immediately after extracting the tooth. The dentists then close up the extraction site. In the days and weeks that follow, the graft integrates with the bone within the socket. New bone forms and fills the void left behind by the extracted tooth.

For more information on tooth extractions and bone grafts specific to your case in Virginia Beach, consult with Cusp Dental Boutique. We and our co treatment team of surgeons provide the tooth extraction and bone grafts Virginia Beach residents can rely on for exceptional outcomes. 

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