The socket preservation graft is an extremely simple and important procedure. This procedure must be accomplished at the time of tooth extraction. It helps to preserve bone at an extraction site in preparation for future implant placement. The area of the jaw bone that holds a tooth in place is called a tooth socket. Preservation of bone volume and architecture (shape) is crucial for implant stability and esthetics. After a tooth has been extracted, the supporting bone (socket) begins to rapidly melt away (bone resorption). Post-extraction bone resorption tends to be particularly severe in sockets with thin walls of bone. A socket preservation graft placed immediately after tooth extraction helps to preserve bone volume and architecture by minimizing post-extraction bone resorption. This procedure diminishes the likelihood that a more complicated bone graft will be necessary prior to implant placement.
The tooth is extracted with great care leaving as much socket bone intact as possible. After the tooth has been extracted, the socket is gently but thoroughly cleaned and debrided. A specially prepared particulate bone graft is inserted into the socket and retained in place with a with a small collagen plug which is sutured over the socket. The collagen plug falls out by itself a week or two later, the sutures dissolve and fall out in two to three weeks. The site is reevaluated for implant placement four months after grafting; if sufficient bone is present the patient is ready to be scheduled for implant surgery.
If you require a tooth extraction and you are thinking of replacing the tooth with a dental implant, a consultation visit is strongly recommended prior to the extraction appointment so that Dr. DalBon can determine the best way to proceed and inform you of all treatment options.
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