Preserving Your Jaw Bone after Extraction
The removal of teeth is sometimes necessary due to pain, infection or a tooth fracture. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection, resulting in a deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. When teeth are extracted, the surrounding gums and bone and gums shrink very quickly, resulting in unsightly defects and a collapse of the lips and cheeks.
Jaw defects can create major issues and risks when performing restorative dentistry, whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called socket preservation. It can greatly improve your smile's, overall appearance and increase your chances for successful dental implants.
Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. In one method, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with bone, then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue to encourage the body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, the socket heals eliminating shrinkage and collapsing of the surrounding gum and facial tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket also provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If your personal dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask whether socket preservation is suitable for you.