Socket preservation keeps your jaw and gums intact after a tooth extraction. This protects you from the need for further restorative dental procedures and helps you maintain that perfect jawline. It’s good for your health and your looks!
Are you a good candidate for socket preservation after a tooth extraction?
Once a tooth is removed from the jawbone, your oral surgeon places a membrane and bone graft inside the now-empty socket. The graft could come from your own body or it may be synthetic. It’s also possible to use donated human or animal bone.
Once the socket filler is in place, the gum tissues are sewn shut over it. You are ready to heal.
How the Jawbone Works
The whole reason you need socket preservation in the first place is because of how the jawbone responds to missing teeth. The body is adaptable, and will only send nutrients to the bone that is carrying out a function.
In the case of the jawbone, the teeth anchored in it signal the body to continue supporting the section of the jaw. If the tooth is extracted, the body quickly realizes this support is no longer needed and bone resorption begins.
It’s possible for the body to reabsorb up to 50 percent of the previously healthy, full jawbone in just 12 months after a tooth extraction. But with socket preservation, the body still believes there is a tooth in place and the jawbone will continue to flourish.
Three Good Reasons for Socket Preservation
The first reason to opt for socket preservation is for the sake of the surrounding teeth. As the jawbone recedes, this can weaken previously strong teeth surrounding the empty socket, causing them to loosen. An empty socket could also cause the neighboring teeth to move, shifting into the open space and ruining past orthodontic work.
Secondly, jawbone loss can drastically affect the look of your face. Your cheeks can appear sunken, your smile may be out of balance and your skin may look shriveled.
Finally, consider the future. Do you plan on having an implant placed at some point? You need a healthy jawbone, or else you will need to go through a bone grafting procedure beforehand. This can extend the time needed to complete the implant procedure, plus it adds to the cost.
Are you planning on having a tooth extracted? Talk to Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery about socket preservation.