Oral Surgery & Tooth Extractions

When a tooth has been damaged beyond repair through trauma from an accident or the effects of decay or gum disease, often the only option is to have the tooth extracted. We commonly refer to this as oral surgery. Utilizing specific techniques, we remove compromised teeth in order to preserve as much surrounding bone and tissue as possible. This allows for the best opportunity to heal.

How To Extract Or Remove Teeth

During oral surgery, a dentist or oral surgeon will use specific tools designed to loosen the teeth in the socket. The tooth can then be lifted out with a forcep. A forcep is like a pair of pliers designed to grab onto teeth. If the tooth is at an angle, impacted in the bone, or has several roots, the dentist may utilize small burs or micro-saws to gently remove bone. This will allow for easier access.

Once the tooth is out, the dentist may offer to graft the site. A graft utilizes bone particles mixed with healing factors from the patient’s own blood. This allows the socket to fill in with the most bone possible, giving you more options if you choose to replace the missing tooth

When surgery is complete, we give the patient a list of rules to follow to allow for adequate healing. For a period of time, it is recommended to:

  • avoid carbonated beverages,
  • using straws, and
  • most importantly, using tobacco products such as cigarettes. 

You will also be instructed to eat a soft diet for several days. Using a toothbrush around the extraction site is also to be avoided. After the patient has adequately healed (usually 10-15 days) they can start to slowly return to normal dietary and oral hygiene habits. 

Avoid having serious complications that can arise from dental infections. If you have a tooth you believe is failing and may not be restorable, reach out to your dentist as soon as possible. 

What procedures are considered oral surgery?

Extractions, bone grafts, implants, gum surgery.

What foods promote healing after oral surgery?

Liquid or soft diet.