Socket preservation is how oral surgeons protect against some of the complications that can result after removing a tooth.
When dentists or oral surgeons decide a tooth is beyond saving, they recommend an extraction. If the hole left behind by the tooth isn’t protected, you could experience bone resorption. But socket preservation can help.
What Is Socket Preservation?
Your oral surgeon will put a platelet-rich membrane and a bone sample inside the socket. He or she may elect to use synthetic material, a portion of your own bone or donated bone from a human or animal. Afterward, the gum tissue is sewn or sutured closed and the healing process can begin.
Is it Necessary?
Socket preservation is useful in many ways.
Depending on the location, tooth loss may affect your smile. Maybe you would like to get a dental implant in the future. In this case, you need to think about bone resorption.
Your tooth roots do more than just hold your teeth in place. They also stimulate the jawbone to generate new bone cells. When a tooth is removed, your jawbone will begin to recede and reabsorb. Within six months, you can potentially lose over half of the bone mass surrounding the now-missing tooth.
Jawbone resorption changes your facial structure. Without jawbone support, your jawline and cheeks may appear sunken. Also, remaining teeth can shift out of place, ruining any previous orthodontic work and further hindering your straight, even smile.
Socket preservation ensures your jawbone will remain intact. When you’re ready, you can get a dental implant and it will be more likely to succeed, since you’ll have your original jawbone ready to support and anchor the new tooth.
A socket preservation procedure typically takes place at the same time as a tooth extraction. Your oral surgeon will give you detailed at-home care instructions. You will be required to rinse with salt water during the first 24 hours to clean your mouth, then gently brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush in the days to come.
You won’t be allowed to use a straw or smoke cigarettes. You will have to eat soft foods as well, to give the new tissue time to heal and integrate to your jawbone.
Get a free consultation at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, and find out more about the benefits of socket preservation in the event of a tooth extraction.