Bone/Socket Preservation After Extractions

DentureCare and Implant Solutions – Rocky Mount NC

When we lose our teeth, the bone that has supported those teeth immediately starts resorbing, basically “melting” away.  This process starts immediately after teeth are extracted, and happens very rapidly.  Over the first year, 25% of that bone can be lost and over the first three years 40-60% of that bone can be lost!  It then slows, but it continues gradually the rest of our lives unless implants are placed. 

Right after the extraction the bony socket collapses in and fills with soft gum tissue instead of bone.  This makes coming back and placing implants much less predictable because often there is not enough bone to support/place a dental implant.  This then leads to the need of extensive grafting of the areas costing the patient a lot more time and money.

A very simple procedure has been developed to decrease the possibility of this immediate bone collapse after extraction, and thus making placement of implants in the near future much more likely and predictable.  The procedure is known as “socket”  or “ridge” preservation. 

Socket PreservationThe procedure is very simple.  It involves the very careful and atraumatic extraction of teeth, and immediately following this, the bony sockets (basically dead space) are filled with bone graft or bone substitute graft, and covered.  This helps prevent the immediate collapse of the dead space and/or filling in with gum tissue.  Over the next 3-6 months the graft material holds the space and is replaced by our own bone.  This usually provides a site in which it is much easier to place implants successfully.

Bone/socket preservation is an extremely vital procedure that is the first tier in stopping bone loss, and making dental implant treatment easier and more predictable. Even if a patient is not sure they want to do dental implants in the future, our team strongly recommends this procedure at the time of extraction to keep options available.  It will be beneficial no matter what type of restoration is used to replace that missing tooth.

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