# 1 Always.

Our first priority is to save teeth.

It is very important to your long-term dental and general health to maintain your teeth for as long as possible. We always prefer to save natural teeth whenever we can.

Sometimes, though, when it's not possible to restore your tooth, extraction maybe the best option. We may recommend tooth extraction if you have severe tooth decay (cavities), a broken tooth, crowded teeth, severe gum disease or there has been injury to the structures that support a tooth.

Extraction FAQ

An examination must occur before the appointment for an extraction. The examination of the patient's mouth, radiographs (x-rays), and dental and medical history helps determine if the tooth can be saved. If not, the dentist is able to provide treatment options and information about what to expect before, during and after extraction. Questions or concerns can be discussed at this time.

The patient will be told what to expect after treatment and what to do in case of emergency. Possible complications are unusual, but will be explained, and are also included on the consent form. A recall appointment may be necessary a few days after extraction to check the healing site. Further appointments will be made to begin the process of replacement of teeth.

Usually, the wound site takes about 6 weeks to heal. During that time, bone is generated to fill the space and the soft tissue grows to fill the gum line. Any replacement for the missing teeth except an immediate denture must wait until the extraction site has healed.

Several dental procedures may be needed to prepare the mouth for replacement of missing teeth. They include:

  • Oral Diagnosis
    • A comprehensive treatment plan is usually necessary after extraction to determine options for further treatment.
  • Radiology
    • More radiographs may be needed.
  • Endodontics
    • Other teeth in the area may need root canal treatment in order to place a crown to anchor a bridge or partial denture.
  • Oral Surgery
    • Bone and/or gum tissue may need to be reshaped.
  • Orthodontics
    • If teeth are crowded, too spaced, or crooked they may need to be straightened before bridges can be attached
  • Periodontics
    • If there is not enough tooth structure above the gums of adjacent teeth or a deep pocket of infection, surgery called crown lengthening may be necessary before a bridge can be placed.


There are many options for replacement of teeth, with varying fees for service:

The cost depends on the number of teeth being removed and replaced and which procedures are chosen for replacement. Additionally, fees vary depending upon the practitioner providing the treatment. There are three types of practitioners at the College of Dentistry:

  1. dental students under the supervision of faculty
  2. dentists receiving advanced specialty training
  3. faculty