What is socket preservation? Skip to main content

What is socket preservation?

A doctor and patient reviewing how to care for your oral health after socket preservation

If you are having a tooth extracted and will later replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, your oral surgeon may recommend socket preservation to facilitate the healing process. In this post, we will explain what socket preservation is, why it is important, and how to care for your socket following extraction.

Preparing your jawbone for a dental implant

Socket preservation is a small bone graft placed into the space vacated by the roots of your extracted tooth. Filling a socket with natural or synthetic bone tissue improves your body’s ability to heal properly while encouraging the growth of new bone tissue at the site of the extraction. Bone growth is important as it keeps your jaw healthy and strong and prevents it from shrinking.

Additional benefits of socket preservation

Along with putting your best foot forward for a complication-free dental implant placement, socket preservation also:

  • Guards against dry socket, as the socket preservation procedure does not leave an exposed blood clot
  • Maintains proper tooth alignment by preventing adjacent teeth from drifting into the gap

How does it work?

Completing a bone graft for socket preservation is a relatively simple process. A device is used to fill the holes in your jaw with the bone graft material and then a collagen film is placed over the top. Finally, the gum tissue is sutured closed.

Caring for your socket post-extraction

Once your tooth extraction and socket preservation procedures are complete, you will be instructed to refrain from brushing the surgical area for 24 hours, only gently rinsing the socket with salt water or a rinse recommended by your doctor. A liquid or no-chew diet is recommended for the day of your surgery and you should take special care to not chew over the surgical site. Be sure to take all medications prescribed by your oral surgeon and carefully follow all postop instructions.

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