After a tooth is extracted or lost, the bone in the socket and jawbone will begin to gradually recede. Without the tooth to hold the socket in place, the bone will resorb into the body and the socket will collapse. The jawbone, without the tooth to stimulate it, will also being to resorb and shrink. If there is too much bone loss, it may not be possible to place a dental implant and it may become more expensive, invasive, and time consuming to restore the area.
Ridge Preservation (or socket preservation) is a type of bone grafting procedure performed immediately after an extraction in an attempt to stabilize the bone in the now empty socket.
Ridge preservation usually occurs immediately after the removal of the tooth. The doctor will extract the tooth, carefully preventing any damage to the socket. A specialized bone grafting product will then be placed in the empty socket. The bone grafting material is designed to promote and regrow bone in the socket.
After the bone grafting material has been placed, a special membrane will be stitched in place to protect the area. Healing time is approximately 3-5 months, after which a dental implant can be placed.
Ridge preservation prevents large amounts of bone loss following a tooth extraction. Leaving the socket empty after an extraction is sure to lead to significant bone loss, thus preventing the placement of a dental implant. Performing bone grafting procedures later can be invasive and costly. Ridge preservation will usually prevent this issue later.
Ridge Preservation Also:
- Is minimally invasive with little discomfort
- Prepares the extraction site for future placement of a dental implant without additional graft procedures
- More cost effective than waiting to do grafting procedures later
- Preserves a natural looking smile