Socket Preservation Procedure
Preserving Your Jaw 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 in poor condition because of disease. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums shrink and recede very quickly during healing resulting in unsightly defects. This can contribute to collapse of the lips, and cheeks.
These shrunken areas can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry, whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented by a procedure called socket preservation. Socket preservation can greatly improve your smile’s appearance and increase your chances for successful dental implants for years to come.
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. The graft material is covered with a Teflon membrane allowing your body’s natural ability to heal through the graft. With this method, the socket heals eliminating shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and facial tissues. Your 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 Drs. Moore and Wong whether socket preservation is recommended. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing the front teeth.