When a tooth is extracted, it leaves a hole in the bone where it was once anchored. The bone around the tooth is called the alveolar ridge. Without any intervention, the bone and gum at the extraction site will eventually shrink through resorption. The body no longer needs the bone to support a tooth, so it begins to deteriorate.
Unfortunately, the space left can cause adjacent teeth to migrate toward the space, throwing them out of alignment. The bone and gum tissue also become so altered that they will not support a dental implant should the patient choose to have one at a later date. Socket preservation prevents deterioration and makes it possible for an implant to be placed eventually.
Socket preservation also protects you from dry socket. This is a very painful condition in which the blood clot that protects the exposed nerve is removed from the area. It can happen if you rinse your mouth too soon, suck on a straw or explore the extraction site with your tongue. Socket preservation eliminates the possibility of nerve exposure.
What is an Alveolar Ridge Preservation Procedure?
After the tooth is removed, the dentist places bone graft material into the socket where the tooth was located. This material may be human bone, animal bone or a synthetic biocompatible material. Then a collagen barrier or membrane may be placed over the socket. The final step is to suture the gums over the socket to close it up.
This procedure preserves the alveolar ridge and protects the socket. At a later date, if an implant is going to be placed there, the area just needs to be prepared for its placement. Without preservation, the ridge may need a bone graft to build it back up, and it may need contouring to ensure that the implant and gums are properly supported.
At Ora Dental Implant Studio, we provide all the services required to successfully place dental implants. Consider replacing your missing teeth with dental implants. Contact us for an exam and consultation for more information.