In some cases, when a tooth is broken, severely infected, or decayed to the point where it cannot be restored, Dr. Shumaker or your general dentist may recommend that the tooth be removed. When a tooth is removed (extracted) the bone which surrounded that tooth no longer has a job to perform and it begins to dissolve away, much like an unused muscle will shrink without exercise. In fact, during the first year following removal of a tooth, up to 50% of the bone which used to hold the bone in place can go away. This may result in unsightly defects and complicate future replacement of the tooth with a dental implant.
To prevent these issues, Dr. Shumaker performs what is known as “ridge preservation” procedures. After gently removing your tooth with state-of-the-art instruments to preserve as much bone as possible, our doctors then add a bone graft, and in some cases growth factors, to the socket from which the tooth was removed. This process encourages your body’s natural capacity to regenerate bone and can reduce loss of bone width by 125% and loss of bone height by 244%. Because Dr. Shumaker remove teeth in this gentle manner to meticulously preserve your existing bone, pain from the procedure is reduced and healing time is improved.