Removal or extraction of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss, cavities 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 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 tissue, 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 recommended. This is important for all teeth to prevent future bone regeneration treatments that can be expensive and painful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Socket Preservation Graft?

A socket preservation graft is a type of bone graft used in Dentistry. This type of graft is used to fill an extraction socket with material that can heal into solid bone. A socket preservation bone graft must be placed at the time of tooth removal to prevent collapse of the bony socket.

Does the hole fill in after a tooth is extracted?

When your tooth is extracted from your jaw, there is trauma to the jaw bone, and this will take longer to heal than the gum tissue. The bone will start to heal after one week, nearly fill in the hole with new bone tissue by ten weeks and completely fill in the extraction hole by four months.The gum tissue will typically completely cover the tooth extraction site within 2-4 weeks.

How long does socket preservation last?

It can last for several years but if a dental implant is not placed into the area, the bone can resorb and shrink.

Is bone grafting necessary after tooth extraction?

A socket preservation graft placed immediately after tooth extraction helps to preserve bone volume and architecture by minimizing post-extraction bone resorption. This procedure diminishes the likelihood that a more complicated bone graft will be necessary prior to implant placement.

For any questions regarding socket or ridge preservation, contact your PerioLife periodontists in Dallas, Irving, Fort Worth or Keller offices.