Oral Surgery – Extractions and Bone Grafts
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
As a general rule, we refer most wisdom teeth extractions to one of the wonderful oral surgeons with whom we work, especially for those patients who want to be “knocked out” with sedation. However, patients who have fully-erupted wisdom teeth and no complicating medical factors, can usually have those done right in our office with regular anesthetic. Very often, such 3rd molars can be extracted very quickly and easily, and our patients are usually back at work the next day with very little soreness.
For routine extraction of any other tooth, we do most all of those right in our own office, and with years of experience, we typically have very satisfied patients. The most common comment that we hear? “Wow, that wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be!”
Are Wisdom Teeth Extractions a “Scam?”
At least once a year, an article makes the rounds of social media, alleging that dentists only extract wisdom teeth for money. The implication is that all dentists and oral surgeons are dishonest, and almost no one truly needs their wisdom teeth removed. Quite frankly, the article is itself extremely dishonest. It is true that not all wisdom teeth need extracting. Many 3rd molars do cause problems though. I wrote a long FAQ about when wisdom teeth should be removed as a guide.
Bone Grafting to Preserve Your Jaw for Implants
When it is necessary to remove one or more teeth, we highly recommend that you have a bone graft placed into the tooth socket. Doing so maintains both the height and thickness of the jaw bone in that area. Not doing so will allow that area to collapse inwards. After all, the only reason you really have jaw bone, is to hold your teeth. If there isn’t a tooth, the lack of pressure in the area tells your body, “Hey, we don’t need bone here!” So your body just lets it slowly shrink away. Even if you aren’t planning on getting a dental implant right away, keeping good bone for an implant later on much easier. It’s just much easier to preserve bone, than it is to rebuild it after it’s already been lost.
If too much bone has been lost, most of the time, it can be rebuilt through procedures such as
- Guided Bone Regeneration
- Sinus Lifts
- Block Grafts.