General Treatment

Bone Grafting

A bone graft may be needed in areas where bone is missing. A surgical procedure, bone grafting replaces missing bone and aids in the re-growth of new bone by placing material from the patient’s own body or an artificial, synthetic or natural substitute into the area where bone existed. The new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between the existing bone and the graft material. Over time, new bone growth will replace much of the grafted material.

Bone grafts are most commonly used to restore or regenerate bone as needed prior to the placement of bridges or implants.

Dental Extractions

Removing a tooth (dental extraction) is an experience that nearly everyone will have to experience at one point in their lives. Through the advancement of dental techniques, many natural teeth can be saved that once needed to be extracted – however, even with all of our modern techniques, an extraction is sometimes necessary, or the best course of action. Whether you have a tooth that is decayed, fractured or broken, have a tooth that cannot fully erupt and needs to be removed, or whether you have an associated periodontal infection, a dental extraction is not a cause for dread. We take great care to reduce the associated anxiety and discomfort of extractions so that you have no reason for undue stress.

Dental extractions typically begin with a thorough examination, so that we can best determine the method of extraction. Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. In either case, an appropriate anesthesia (such as local anesthetic, IV sedation or general anesthesia) will be administered to maximize comfort during the procedure. After the tooth is removed, the gum will be sutured and gauze placed to minimize bleeding. You will also be given post-operative instructions and any needed materials to help with healing and recovery, including antibiotics and pain medication, as we deem necessary. We will also schedule a follow-up appointment, so we can ensure the extraction site is healing properly and make sure you have no questions or problems.

Wisdom Teeth Extractions

By the age of 18, most adults will have 32 total teeth. However, nearly 90% of adults will only have the approximate jaw size to hold 28. Those extra four teeth are typically the third molars, or “wisdom teeth.” Some people are born without these “extra” teeth – in fact, they are the most common teeth to be born without – but for the rest of us, the extra teeth in the jaw causes problems. When the wisdom teeth come in (years after the rest of our permanent teeth), there is often little to no space for them to erupt. This forces them into strange positions, or to grow into spaces they were not meant to – a condition called “impacted”. This can damage the wisdom teeth and the surrounding teeth and tissues, including the possibility of cysts, abscesses, tumors and other maladies.

When Should Wisdom Teeth Come Out?

The “common wisdom” of years past indicated that wisdom teeth should only be taken out after they erupted or caused problems. We now know, however, that in many cases, wisdom teeth can already cause major problems before erupting. A recent study by the AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) shows that normally erupted, well positioned wisdom teeth can be just as prone to infection as impacted wisdom teeth, furthering the case for the early extraction of wisdom teeth.

Waiting to remove a wisdom tooth only gives the tooth time to grow larger and become more difficult to extract. Also, older patients often suffer more complications and longer recovery times than their younger counterparts when undergoing wisdom tooth extractions.