Your dentist or oral surgeon may have explained to you the benefits of having a dental implant installed immediately following tooth extraction. However, if you’re not ready to commit to a dental implant yet, you might want to consider socket preservation.
In this post, we’ll explain what socket preservation is and how it can lead to better long-term oral health and greater restorative options.
The problem with missing teeth
Leaving a gap in your smile is more than just an aesthetic issue. Over time, missing teeth can lead to jawbone degeneration or cause the other teeth in your mouth to shift out of place. When you eat, pressure is sent through the roots of your teeth to stimulate your jawbone and produce new tissue. This process keeps your bone healthy and strong.
When you’re missing a tooth, your jaw doesn’t receive the signal to grow new bone. Bone loss over time can make you ineligible for an implant without a bone graft. Additionally, if your teeth shift too far out of place in your mouth, orthodontic treatment could be necessary prior to getting an implant.
Prepare for the future
One solution is to ask your dental professional to perform “socket preservation” following tooth extraction. Socket preservation involves the placement of bone graft material into the socket at the same time your tooth is removed. An absorbable membrane is then placed over the site to protect it and facilitate bone regeneration as well as the growth of new gum tissue.
Preserving your socket can allow you to get a dental implant later without having to undergo additional preop treatment. Whether you cannot afford an implant right now or simply haven’t made up your mind, socket preservation can buy you time.