Removal or extraction of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture of the tooth. The bone around the failed tooth is often deformed or misshapen due to gum disease. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in hollow cheeks and a sunken face appearance.
These jaw defects 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 and repaired by a procedure called socket or ridge preservation. Socket or ridge preservation can prevent the collapse or shrinkage of the extraction socket to recreate your beautiful and healthy smile.
Several methods 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. It is then covered with gum, a collagen membrane, or tissue stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, the socket heals eliminating shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and facial tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if socket or ridge preservation is necessary. This is important for all teeth to prevent future bone regeneration treatments that can be expensive and painful.