You had untreated gum disease that progressed too far. Maybe you had tooth decay that enveloped too much of the tooth to save it. Or maybe your tooth was damaged from an injury or accident. Regardless of the cause, sometimes tooth loss happens. But dental implants provide a great way to restore your lost tooth and your smile to full health and function from the bottom up. If you’re planning on getting dental implants, your implant dentist might have mentioned that you need socket preservation. But what exactly is socket preservation? Why do you need it? How does it impact your ability to get dental implants? Get the answers to all your questions here in this post.
What happens when a tooth is lost?
When you experience tooth loss, it impacts more than just your appearance. Yes, it leaves a gap in your smile, and you no longer can chew or speak using that tooth, but something else happens below the surface. Your jaw bone, no longer stimulated by the natural tooth, starts the process of breaking down at the cellular level and spreading to other areas of the body—called resorption. When this happens, your weakened jaw bone can endanger your other teeth for extraction and can change the shape of your jaw over time, making you appear older.
What is socket preservation?
Socket preservation is another term for a bone graft in the place where a tooth has been extracted or lost. This surgical procedure entails layering the graft into the socket where the tooth used to be, keeping the bone stimulated until a dental implant can be placed there. For patients who are seriously considering dental implants, especially if the tooth was lost years before, it is common for an implant dentist to recommend socket preservation to increase the odds of implant success.
Why is socket preservation an important part of the dental implant process?
To be effective in both the short and long term, dental implants require a strong jaw bone. The surgically placed post stimulates this jaw bone to grow and surround the implant, holding it firmly in position, just like a natural tooth. When a tooth is extracted or lost, the jaw bone can lose density fairly quickly. As a result, it can weaken the support to other teeth and increase the chances of failure for potential dental implants and prosthetic devices. Socket preservation reinforces the jaw bone so that it can continue to provide strength and support for remaining teeth and a future dental implant.
If you’ve been told that you need socket preservation, it would be wise to consider it seriously. Not only can it help make your dental implants a success, but a bone graft can help you enjoy better oral health and hold onto your remaining natural teeth for as long as possible. If you have more questions about socket preservation or dental implants, contact your implant dentist.
About the Practice
At Brand New Smile Dental Implant Center, patients in the Lake in the Hills area benefit from having access to a restorative dentist and a periodontist with years of experience and advanced training. As a result, they and the staff are able to provide all the dental implant care patients need to get their smiles back all in one location. To schedule a free consultation, call (847) 915-3080 or click here.