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What's Involved In Preserving a Tooth Socket After It's Extracted?

What's Involved In Preserving a Tooth Socket After It's Extracted?

Do you need a tooth pulled? Tooth extraction is sometimes the best option to protect your oral health, whether you have a damaged tooth, gum disease, or other issues.

Unfortunately, the surrounding bone and tissue in the socket can undergo significant changes after a tooth is extracted and can affect your overall oral health and future dental treatments.

The good news? Tooth socket preservation can help you avoid these common complications. Find out what the process involves from J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABPAndrew Peterson, DMD, MS, and our team at Arcadia Perio.

Understanding tooth socket preservation

When you get a tooth extracted, the tooth’s socket is left behind in your jawbone. If left untreated, this hole can collapse and remodel over time.

Bone resorption can lead to a loss of bone volume in the area, and the surrounding gum tissue may also shrink. These changes can put nearby teeth at risk and create challenges for future dental treatments, like dental implants or bridges, because there might not be enough bone and tissue to support them.

Tooth socket preservation is a dental procedure designed to minimize the changes that occur in your socket after tooth extraction. Our primary goal is to retain the original shape and dimensions of the socket to maximize your oral health.

Like other dental procedures, tooth socket preservation is customizable. Your need for preservation depends on factors like the location of the extracted tooth, your bone density, and your intentions for future dental restorations.

If you need a tooth extraction, we help you decide if tooth socket preservation is a good option for you.

The benefits of preserving your tooth socket

Depending on your situation, tooth socket preservation can play a key role in protecting and improving your oral health.

Most importantly, tooth socket preservation helps you avoid bone loss. Bone loss can loosen surrounding teeth and give your jaw a sunken appearance, but preservation prevents excessive bone resorption to maintain your facial structure and the appearance of your smile.

By preserving your tooth socket, you may be able to avoid other oral health issues and additional bone grafting procedures. It’s a proactive approach that can reduce your overall healing time and discomfort.

Plus, tooth socket preservation not only maintains the natural contours of your jawbone — it’s crucial for future restorations, like dental implants. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement, and they require sufficient bone for stability and longevity.

Preserved sockets provide a strong and healthy foundation for implant placement, increasing your chances of a successful procedure and lowering your risk of more extensive and costly treatments down the road.

What to expect during a tooth socket preservation procedure

If we recommend preserving your tooth socket, the process typically involves these steps:

Bone grafting

Bone grafting involves placing bone graft material into the empty tooth socket. We may do the graft immediately after tooth extraction or in a separate procedure.

The bone graft material can be made from synthetic materials, natural bone, or a combination of both, and it works like a scaffold to support new bone growth in the tooth socket.

Guided tissue regeneration

Along with grafting, we may recommend guided tissue regeneration (GTR) as part of your socket preservation. 

GTR involves placing a barrier membrane over the bone graft to prevent the gum tissue from invading the socket. This technique allows your bone to regenerate without interference from surrounding soft tissues.

Healing time

After tooth extraction and tooth socket preservation, your body needs time to heal. It can take several months for the bone graft to fuse with your existing jawbone and create a stable foundation for future restorations.

Dental implants or restorations

Once your mouth is fully healed, we can complete your dental restoration and replace the extracted tooth. We may recommend dental implants, bridges, or other restorations, depending on your needs. 

Thanks to tooth socket preservation, the preserved bone volume and structure help ensure a successful and aesthetically pleasing outcome.

Tooth socket preservation is a valuable dental procedure that helps maintain the bone and tissue structure in your tooth socket after extraction. So if you need a tooth pulled, now’s the time to find out if socket preservation is right for you.

Set up a consultation with us at Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California, to learn more. Call us at 626-600-2009 or book an appointment online now.

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