Tooth Extraction and Bone Graft—Done Right!!!

Tooth Extraction with Bone GraftA patient was referred to my office for extraction of a broken-down tooth.  What started out as a routine consultation, quickly took an interesting turn when the patient informed me that the dentist asked him to return to the dentist’s office immediately after the extraction.  “What for?” I asked.  “So that he can do the bone graft” the patient replied.  That answer left me absolutely flabbergasted.

Once I slowly picked up my jaw off the floor, the picture started to make sense.  The referring dentist does not feel comfortable removing the tooth.  Ok, fair enough, happens all the time.  But the fact that the dentist wants the patient to drive all the way back across town just after the extraction so that the dentist can put in the bone graft (a procedure he is clearly more comfortable with and can charge the patient for) is something that I do not agree with.

Now, put yourself in the patient’s shoes.  You believe your dentist has your best interests in mind (not his own financial ones).  You believe your dentist wants you to have quality treatment, which is why he is referring you to an Oral Surgeon to get the dental extraction done.  Why on earth would he then have you come all the way back to his office just so that he can make an extra buck? Or two?

Unfortunately, this is a true story…But it does have a happy ending.  The patient realized the absurdity of the dentist’s plans and ultimately did what is best for the patient and patient only—extraction and bone graft to prepare the space for the implant, both done at an Oral Surgery Office.  But even though this story has a happy ending, I am sure there are countless more episodes like this one happening all over the country.  Hopefully, however, as the patients realize what is in their best interests, as opposed to the dentists’, these situations will become less and less common.