Ridge Preservation (Socket Preservation)
What many people don't know is that when one or more teeth are extracted from the mouth, the soft gum tissue that surrounded these teeth begins to collapse.  Not only does the gum tissue begin to collapse, but the bone itself can start to collapse and shrink.  The main reason for this collapsing and shrinking of the bone and gum tissue is due to the lack of stimulation that a tooth root provides.  If left unattended to, bone loss can be severe and can make it impossible to receive implants.  Severe bone loss can also lead to more expensive, invasive, uncomfortable, and time consuming procedures to try and replace the lost bone tissue.  Ridge or socket preservation dentistry involves a bone grafting procedure, which helps to rebuild and re-stabilize bone where extracted teeth has left a weakened and empty socket.

Procedure Details

The first thing that is performed in a Ridge preservation procedure is the removal of the tooth.  Dr. Silverstein and Dr. Parker will remove the tooth carefully so that the existing bone in the socket is not disturbed.  The next thing that the doctor will do is to insert a specialized bone-grafting material.  This dentistry material will either be an allograft, autogenous graft, or alloplast/xenograft.   This special bone grafting material is made to help the existing bone re-grow and build in the now empty socket.  Once the material has been inserted into the empty socket, the grafting material will be secured with a membrane and/or stitches.   The typical healing time for this type of procedure is approximately 3-5 months.  Once this amount of time has passed to allow for healing, a dental implant can then be placed in order to bring a natural look to the mouth.

Procedure Benefits

The largest benefit that comes along with this pre-implant dentistry procedure is the minimized bone loss that can occur after a tooth extraction.  Without having this procedure performed, an empty socket can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can make the possibility of getting dental implants later a near impossible feat.   

Here are some other benefits to having a ridge preservation procedure performed:
  • The procedure is minimally invasive and has a low level of discomfort.
  • The procedure helps to prepare the extraction site for future dental implant placement without having to perform additional grafting procedures later on.
  • A Ridge preservation procedure is more cost effective and less painful than having a grafting procedure performed later on.
  • Having this procedure performed can help to preserve the existing jaw bone in order to make re-creating a natural looking smile much more realistic.

As you can see, the benefits of having a Ridge preservation dentistry procedure immediately after an extraction far outweigh the consequences of putting it off.  In order to make a dental implant procedure realistic and do-able, having a Ridge preservation procedure done after an extraction is the best course of action to pursue.  To get more information on this type of procedure, schedule a visit with Drs. Silverstein and Parker to go over the particulars of this procedure.

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