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Socket Preservation: Oral Surgery That Can Save Your Smile

By markplatt on August 01, 2015


3-D model of an extractionYour dentist just told you that extraction is the best solution for your damaged tooth. Now you are worried about the effects that the procedure will have on your smile. Fortunately, thanks to advanced techniques, today’s oral surgery involves reduced discomfort and impact to your jawbone. In addition, at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, we offer an advanced socket preservation procedure. This treatment can prevent bone recession, a common occurrence following extraction or tooth loss. After socket preservation, you may be eligible to receive dental implants. Even if you choose a traditional bridge, your restoration will fit more securely thanks to this advanced procedure. To learn more about socket preservation after tooth extraction, contact our Montgomery practice today.

Why Perform Socket Preservation?

Your dental roots do not simply hold your teeth in place. They also send important signals to your jawbone that trigger the growth of new bone cells. Daily use stimulates your bone, preventing jawbone recession. When you have a tooth removed, your jawbone will start to recede quite rapidly. In addition, your alveolar ridge, the bony ridge just beneath your gums, will start to wear away. This can affect the fit of a bridge or removable denture. It can also compromise your candidacy for dental implants, since you will not have enough bone tissue to support the restorations. Finally, bone recession can change the entire structure of your face, giving it a sunken look. Even a single missing tooth can have dramatic and widespread effects on your smile.

The Socket Preservation Procedure

When removing your tooth, your surgeon will typically perform bone grafting at the same time. By taking immediate action, he can more effectively prevent damage to your jawbone. First, your surgeon will place a platelet-rich fibrin membrane into the tooth socket. Platelets are naturally occurring proteins that will stimulate the healing process. Then he will place a small bone sample into the empty socket. He may use your own bone, taken from your jaw or hard palate. In some cases, your surgeon may use a synthetic material. At your initial treatment consultation, we will determine the right type of graft for your needs. Your practitioner may also treat the area with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to further encourage healing. Once the sample is in place, your surgeon may use small sutures or pins to hold the tissues in place. Then he will reposition your gum tissue, closing it back up over the surgical site.

What to Expect after Your Treatment

Following your socket preservation procedure, the new tissue will integrate with the surrounding bone. This process will typically take several months, after which you can receive your new restoration. In most cases, we will recommend a dental implant, since it provides the greatest stability and durability. Thanks to socket preservation, you will most likely have enough bone tissue to qualify for the restorations.

Contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

If you are preparing for a tooth extraction, socket preservation can save your smile and long-term dental health. Contact us today to learn more about this procedure and how it can benefit you.

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