Socket Preservation Procedure

Preserving Your  Bone after Extraction

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums will shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in inadequate bone remaining to place a dental implant.

Bone loss from tooth removal can be prevented or managed by a procedure called socket preservation (also called  bone preservation procedure). Socket (or bone) preservation can greatly improve the quantity of bone that remains after healing which can be utilized to support your dental implant. Without this socket (bone) preservation procedure, often the bone shrinks away and the patient will require additional bone graft surgery in the future (costing them time and money) if they would like a dental implant placed.

Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. In one common method, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with bone or bone substitute. It is then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, the socket heals minimizing shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and bone. The newly formed bone in the socket also provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if socket preservation is necessary. If you are considering dental implants, a socket (bone) preservation procedure is very important. Is it always necessary? No.

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