Unfortunately, teeth sometimes need to be removed. When the time comes to remove a tooth, it is important to think about the future of the area that will be missing a tooth. Dental extractions are common procedures in most dental offices. However, it is still important to know that anytime a tooth is removed, the bone and gum tissue underneath the tooth will resorb or melt away. Sometimes these changes are very minor, but even minor changes can affect quality, volume, and width of the gum and supporting bone. Dr. Miller makes every effort to remove a tooth in as comfortable a manner as is possible, and to preserve as much bone as is possible. If the tooth being removed will be replaced with an implant in the future, the patient and Dr. Miller may choose to have a socket preservation graft placed. When the tooth is removed there will be a void in the bone that the tooth once filled. If that void is not filled in with a material to restore bone, it will likely fill in with soft tissue and overtime may not be a realistic site for an implant. Dr. Miller will discuss the possible need for tooth socket grafts prior to tooth extraction.
It is important to give a complete medical history to Dr. Miller prior to any treatment, but especially prior to dental extractions. Certain medications can affect healing after extraction. Patients should let Dr. Miller know if they are taking any medications for osteoporosis or are taking bisphosphonate chemotherapy drugs like Zometa. Bisphosphonate drugs can cause a condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). Also, if patients have had radiation therapy to the head or neck, they may be at risk of developing a similar condition called osteoradionecrosis of the jaw following tooth extraction. Certain drugs act to thin the blood and could lead to problems with clotting of the extraction site. Dr. Miller may need to consult with a patient’s physician to determine which protocols work best with their particular medical situation. Dr. Miller may need to coordinate patient care with other dental specialist to ensure the best possible outcome.
If you've recently had surgery in our practice and need the post-operative instructions, you can access the form by clicking here. (Please note that the file will open in Microsoft Word)