Socket Preservation


Your teeth are incredibly important and have many essential jobs. The teeth are responsible for biting and chewing food. They help you to speak properly and play an integral role in the quality of your smile. The teeth also play a very important role in the health of your jawbone.

Because the teeth are so important, the ideal solution is to save them if they have suffered damage or decay. However, in some cases, saving a damaged tooth is not possible, and extraction is required. At Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery, we can help to preserve the jawbone following a tooth extraction with a socket preservation.

Why Might I Need an Extraction?


There are a few reasons why a tooth might need to be extracted. A common reason is due to severe tooth damage. Typically, a damaged tooth can be restored with a crown. However, if the tooth has shattered, split, or cannot support a crown, the better solution is to remove it. You may require tooth extraction in the event of severe gum disease. With advanced gum disease, the periodontal ligament and jawbone may not be able to properly support the tooth. You may also require a tooth extraction following severe tooth decay, and the tooth cannot effectively support a crown.

What Happens to the Jawbone After an Extraction?


After a tooth is extracted, there is an empty space left behind. Your jawbone loses the stimulation from that tooth. Stimulation from the teeth is what tells your body to send nutrients. Without the tooth, the jaw loses some of the necessary stimulation. This results in fewer nutrients being sent. Over time, the bone where the tooth used to begin to weaken and lose mass.

Eventually, it may even begin to change shape. This can result in the adjacent teeth shifting out of alignment, altering your bite. This can cause several issues, including increasing your risk for gum disease, cavities, and tooth damage. And, if the bone is too weak, it may not be able to properly support a dental implant without a bone graft. The amount of bone lost will determine how significant the graft needs to be.

What is a Socket Preservation?


Socket preservation is a procedure that is performed immediately following tooth extraction. The idea behind the procedure is to fill in the empty space left behind by the tooth. This helps to prevent the surrounding bone from collapsing in. The procedure does involve the use of a bone graft, but the graft is much smaller than a bone graft that would be needed following significant bone loss.

Socket preservation can be done following a simple or surgical extraction. After the tooth has been extracted, the bone graft material is placed into the empty space. The graft material can be harvested from your own body, or it can be taken from a donor. After placing the graft material, the gums are sutured closed. Once you have fully healed, a dental implant can then be placed.

What Benefits Does a Socket Preservation Offer?


There are many benefits associated with socket preservation. They include:
•  Protecting the integrity of your jawbone.
•  Preventing jawbone collapse. This protects the shape of your jawbone and prevents premature aging.
•  Preserving more of your natural bone mass. Because of this, you avoid the need for a larger, more invasive bone graft later down the line.
•  Dental implants can be placed shortly after healing from the extraction.

Socket preservation can be an effective solution for preserving your jawbone after an extraction, making the placement of a dental implant easier later. For more information, call Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery at (208) 994-6227 today.

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