Monthly Archives: July 2018

socket preservation dental surgery

When Do You Need Socket Preservation?

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?

socket preservation dental surgery

The Procedure

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.

dental implant failure

5 Causes of Dental Implant Failure

Dental implant failure is not normal. In fact, it’s rare. One of the reasons dental implants are one of the most popular tooth restoration choices even though they are more expensive than crowns or bridges is because they are almost always successful, and they last a long time without needing replacement.

dental implant failure

But dental implant failure is a slim possibility. Why does it happen?

1. Infection

Oral surgeons are good at keeping bacteria out of the surgical area during either bone grafting or implant placement, but contamination sometimes happens.

Bacteria may also enter the region after surgery, and if your immune system is low or you have poor dental hygiene post-procedure, infection can set in and jeopardize the dental implant’s stability and longevity.

2. Nerve Damage

Some patients complain that they feel numbness or tingling in their cheeks, gums, lips or tongue after getting dental implants. Naturally, this isn’t the best feeling to live with. In order to help their bodies get back to normal, sometimes the right move is to take out the implant and choose a different restoration path.

3. Sinus Problems

Placing implants on the upper jaw adds another layer of complexity, due to the sinuses. Sinus damage, such as a puncture, could make additional bone grafts necessary to fortify the area before dental implants are placed. Any resulting sinus problems could warrant removing the implants.

4. Allergic Reaction

The metal used in implant fabrication — titanium alloy — sometimes has traces of nickel in it. Both metals can produce an inflammatory allergic response in the body. It’s best to share your full scope of symptoms with doctors, dentists and oral surgeons to eliminate any other potential causes before having the implant removed.

5. Foreign Body Rejection

Some patients’ bodies reject the implants. It starts with them loosening. While you may at first think it’s due to the surgeon’s methods or a lack of supportive bone, it could be that your body is rejecting the implant and trying to force it out of the jaw.

What’s Next?

If you’re experiencing a problem with a dental implant, call our office right away. At Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, your oral health is our top concern. Whether our team handled the original implant or you would like a second opinion, we can help resolve the issue with either a replacement or a different form of tooth restoration.