Socket Preservation Procedure

Preserving Your Jaw Bone after Extraction

Removal of a tooth, or multiple teeth, is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss, or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth or teeth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection, resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede following the extraction, resulting in unsightly defects and collapse of your lips and cheeks.

Such jaw defects create major challenges when it comes to performing restorative dentistry – whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. The good news is jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented, and repaired by a procedure called socket preservation. Furthermore, 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. It is then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, the socket heals, thus eliminating shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and facial tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket also provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If Dr. Funderburk has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if socket preservation is necessary. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing your front teeth.

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